This post takes a critical look at Kirklees recent works on Ramsden Road. There is no criticism of the contractors or front line council staff here. Both have done a job within the remit given to them. It’s not what’s been done that’s the problem but what has not been done.
- The reinstatement of a 1000m of drain and 8 culverts is long overdue and a positive step. These drains and culverts will need regular inspection and maintenance to keep them working though. That’s something Kirklees are not good at.
- Filling the large deep craters at the start of Ramsden Road has been done well.
- Beyond the large craters very little of the road surface has been repaired and remains out of repair. If you are on foot, an equestrian or cyclist barely half a metre of the 9m width of the road is safely or conveniently usable from the end of Crossley’s Plantation north west to the start of the hill. Thats over 500m.The first photo below shows the condition of this section and the following one shows an intact area of lane for comparison. Pedestrians or anyone with a disability have been give little or no consideration here.
- The original tender document Ramsden Road HW and plan RamsdenRoad,Holmfirth specifies that “Locally sourced 100/150mm clean sandstone to be laid and compacted in the low areas to bring these areas back up to adjacent ground level.” However most of Ramsden Road remains well below the adjacent ground level and in some places is below the newly cleared drain. As can be seen from the photos below. Water falling on the road cannot shed into the drain quickly but must travel on the lane to one of the basic “grips” cut into the verge. This is not a good way to deal with water and will likely lead to continuing erosion in itself without the help of vehicles. The original surface of the road was stone macadem ie tightly compacted stone. This had a “crown” (highpoint) at the centre which shed water immediately into the adjacent drains. As it stands Ramsden Road will continue to largely act as it’s own drain.
- Ramsden Road needs bringing back up to it’s original levels with a substantial sub base and cambered or crowned surface to shed water alongside the 1000m of drain and further reinstatement of the drain to the north side of the road. Without this it cannot withstand the pressure from vehicle use.
- This is a failure of management on the councils part. The councils original stated view is that legitimate 4×4 use of the road causes damage and that any works to repair the road need protecting from this use. In an unrecorded “officer” decision the council then moved to wanting sustainable and equitable use of the lane for all users. The works that have been carried out fall well short of achieving this (particularly for pedestrians). The recent works have cost some £15k out of a rights of way budget of £50k. The council has already spent around £10k on aborted legal orders and other works here. Clearly messing about in this way is expensive and a drain on very limited Prow resources. The fact that it hasn’t sorted out the problem is disappointing.
- Its raining! Just a little bit but as you can see from the photo below there’s already water accumulating on Ramsden Road (for the reasons outlined above). Get some vehicles going on this and the cycle of damage continues.
- There’s already evidence of vehicular damage to the new works. A motor bike has been flying up and down at speed kicking up the newly laid surface and allowing water in. The erosion process begins again. A motor bike and some mountain type bikes have also been riding in the new drain!
- The end of a section of drain has been left open and will be discharging a considerable amount of water back onto Ramsden Road at the top of the hill.
- Ramsden Road,even allowing for these works, is in a much worse overall condition now than in December 2017 when the council first became involved in the latest chapter of chucklebrotheresque nonsense. The hill at the end of the flat section has deteriorated spectacularly since that time and continues to do so. There is no plan for the council to repair it.
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