Whilst not on a par with John Cockcroft and Earnest Walton splitting the atom, the chavs who successfully split a stolen caravan on a Holmfirth Byway do deserve some recognition.
The caravan was driven up Ramsden Road last week where the top half and a trail of debris remains. The mystery of the bottom half of the holiday home has now been solved with the discovery of it’s sad remains on Holmfirth Bridleway 94. A route with a unique set of problems itself.
This scientific discovery would not be possible without the Large Hadron Collider of incompetence that is Kirklees Council.
It’s a good job Charles and Camilla visited earlier in the week ! Back in the real world a caravan has been towed up onto Ramsden Road in the night and wrecked on the rocky section. Readers will recall that the hapless Kirklees Council has spent £44k of taxpayers money on gates for Ramsden Road. The gates have been locked open since installation in February.
The level of incompetence, disregard for public resources and just not giving a toss has been taken to new depths by the bureaucrats of Huddersfield. There is no bottom to this particular barrel it seems.
Welcome to this PathWatch Coronation Special update on Ramsden Road and the Yateholme Lanes. Firstly, some disappointing news. The planned PathWatch Coronation Street Party on Ramsden Road will not be going ahead. Our application for a small grant for bunting, confectionery and a TRO to close the road was turned down by Kirklees. It would have been a fantastic community event and an opportunity to close and lock the £44k worth of gates for a day.
A spokesperson from the council said the PathWatch application was “not that funny really but did get a surprisingly long way in the process before being spotted.”
In a more positive turn of events the King & Queen made a surprise visit to the gates above Holmfirth. King Charles was able to draw on his lifetime of experience of being public funded but having no discernible purpose to offer the gates advice and support in their existential crisis.
Kirklees position on green lanes in the Holme Valley has under gone a “road to Damascus” type conversion since last Monday. In late February Kirklees reopened a number of closed lanes and put out a “Come and trash our countryside” sign to the 4×4 brigade. Earlier this week the Head of Highways at Kirklees was advising locals and walkers not to be so sensitive about 4x4s wrecking the Kirklees Way or Holme Valley Circular Walk. Photo above shows 2 vehicles on the Kirklees Way which may or may not have public vehicular rights. There’s not much of it left anyway.
However, there has been a huge public outcry from residents and non motorised users of these lanes. The 3 ward councillors now appear to be working together on the issue and following meetings this week have advised that TRO’s will be placed on the lanes.
This is positive news but early days and much remains unclear at present. Kirklees have a poor record in this area and messed up big time with Ramsden Road Lets hope they’ve learnt from that expensive debacle and proceed with a degree of professionalism & competence that’s previously been absent.
The snow, frost and rain of the past days has claimed a popular path on the Holme Valley Riverside Way just before the campsite at Brockholes. A couple of trees have slipped into the River Holme taking a section of path with them. There have been previous landslips at this location over the years and putting this right looks tricky.
Report it to email@example.com Holmfirth Footpath 31/10.
While the public are now denied the use of Cartworth Moor Road for the harmless activity of wandering about it remains open for HGV’s and these monsters.
Truth be told the closure seems to be more of an arse covering exercise from our hapless council to protect it against public liability claims. The road closed sign has disappeared at one end and if you join the road off one of the many linking paths there’s nothing to alert you to the closure.
The good news is that todays Strategic Planning Committee turned down the application to increase HGV use of Cartworth Moor Road and the expansion of Windy Hill Quarry.
The bad news is that Kirklees have closed Cartworth Moor Road to the public until August 2023. The reason for the closure is public safety. HGV’s can continue to use the road ! So legal use of the road is banned but HGV use in breach of planning can continue for now.
So the Highway Authority with legal obligations to both maintain and prevent obstruction of the public highway has managed to close Holmfirth Bridleway 94 for a year and now closes Cartworth Moor Road for at least 6 months. The quarry operator responsible for the damage continues with business as usual.
Rather than stop an illegal operation of the quarry in a timely fashion Kirklees have again been spectators until it is to late to effectively protect the public highway.
Planning are taking enforcement action but it’s 18 months behind time.
Back in October 2020 PathWatch reported on the complete destruction of Meltham Bridleway 50. Kirklees and the Peak District National Park as Highway and Planning Authorities bestowed those responsible with the usual largess. Between them they managed to turn a blind eye for over 2 years.
When pushed Kirklees still preferred not to take the enforcement action required but allowed the responsible party time to submit a planning application to the Peak Park. This, supposedly, will sort things out and the landowners will get a vehicular road over the bridleway as a bonus.
Kirklees have made assurances that the bridleway will be reinstated by the end of June 2023 but this looks increasingly unlikely given the pit falls of the planning process.
The planning application is now live for public comment. This is the only opportunity to influence reinstatement of the bridleway and make it more bridleway less road.
There’s seemingly nothing our hapless council won’t do to assist the destruction of the local environment and in particular public rights of way and green lanes.
Previously on PathWatch we reported on the closure of Cheesegate Nab Side, Scar Hole Lane and Scaly Gate. Three popular lanes used and abused by 4x4s. The lanes were closed for “repairs” which have never been carried out. The sub text here was that the lanes were closed closed. You know a bit like going “out out”. So a permanent closure to follow the temporary ones was expected and committed to by Kirklees.
Yesterday council vehicles came up from Honley depot and went around all the lanes to remove the concrete blocks and reopen the routes to 4x4s. Clearly there has been a challenge to Kirklees use of temporary closure orders. Rather than using the closure period to place Public Space Protection Orders on the lanes to ban 4x4s Kirklees have again cocked up in fine fashion. The mistakes are so entrenched in this organisation that it is not fit for purpose.
The Ramsden Road debacle has been recreated just a few miles away by the same set of hopeless bureaucrats.
The removal of these closures is causing a lot of anger and frustration locally and of course brand new damage is already being caused to the lanes. There are various fairy tales coming out of Kirklees in an attempt to explain away the issue but in the next few days PathWatch will publish council emails that clearly undermine the duplicity on show.
If you care at all about these lanes and quiet enjoyment of the countryside please politely express your views to ward Councillors firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime here are some images of new damage to the lanes by vehicles. Enjoy! This is what your council tax is paying for.