Kirklees eventually resorted to the Ostrich technique on this one and have had their corporate heads stuck deep in the sand since last October. You might recall a development arm of Yorkshire Water attempting to put a road in over the bridleway to a potential development site at Bartin and Greave Farmsteads. A brief flavour of the sad saga is here
Rather than take prompt and effective enforcement action when the bridleway was resurfaced without permission Kirklees opted to allow the company to carry out more inappropriate works, to a poor standard and with inappropriate materials. Predictably this prompted many more complaints from the public and user groups – all of which have been ignored by deploying the Ostrich technique to an exemplary standard.
After only six months sections of the bridleway are now in a shocking state as a result of the works carried out and seemingly approved by Kirklees. The effect of laying a compacted smooth surface over the sandstone has accelerated water run off leading to some deep gullying and washed out areas. Not just of the new surface but the lovely old sandstone beneath it too. Open drains which used to flow freely adjacent to the bridleway are choked with the washed off materials.
Kirklees could have taken a firm approach last October and got Yorkshire Water to reinstate the bridleway or served notice, done the works themselves and recovered the cost of doing so. No costs to the taxpayer on this option. But it was all too much trouble and they went for option B – “let them get away with it”. They now have a bridleway in a remote location that needs repairing. Left as it is it will only deteriorate further becoming more expensive to repair as it does so.They’ve managed to generate a financial liability here where six months ago none existed.
It is an excellent example of how the council works on public rights of way. Too timid to do things properly, in the public interest and cost effectively. Time and again it attempts to mix oil and water by accommodating the problem into the solution. It never works. They never learn.