Ramsden Rd/Yateholme Lanes. Kirklees Early Consultations.

Ramsden Road AFTER the £15k repairs in 2020

The email below has been provided by Kirklees in response to a Freedom of Information request asking for information on the informal consultations Kirklees have carried out with “relevant stakeholders” regarding a proposed Public Space Protection Order partially restricting some vehicular use on Ramsden Road & the Yateholme Lanes.

The only written correspondence which outlines the proposal is an email to the Green Lane Association who represent motor vehicle users. In contrast local residents and non motorised users who are asking to be involved at this early stage to shape the outcome of the process (in line with the statutory guidelines) are being completely ignored.

Any competent authority acting in the public interest would put the proposal in writing to as wide an audience as possible and invite comment. The fact that Kirklees have not done this and are deliberately excluding a wide range of genuinely interested parties (non motorised users, residents etc.) is worthy of explanation. Don’t hold your breath though.

From: xxxxx@kirkees.gov
To: xxxxxx.rep@glass-uk.org
Cc: row;
Subject: RE: Ramsden Road
Date: 21 January 2021 08:55:00
Dear XXXX,
The proposal is really simple below is what I sent to Cllrs for their views
The introduction of a Public Space Protection Order that will limit the access by 4 wheeled vehicles with the intention that this is to prevent unregulated 4×4 activity.
The order will allow the gating of the access points on Brownlee Lane, Ramsden Road and Rake Head Road – with access arrangements in place for all those who require access such as landowners and their representatives
such as gamekeepers , Yorkshire water and the fishing club, in addition the order will not prevent access by other user types, such a trail bikes, mountain bikes, horse riders and walkers.
It is further proposed that this is not a complete ban, but a means of regulation of access by recreational 4×4 use, so working with Glass agree a permit system where access is permitted under certain conditions, so consideration to the hours of access, the weather conditions and the numbers per day, and per group, all with the intention of reducing the ASB element, and if people do feel the need to either travel off route, or drive in a fashion that is unacceptable then they can easily be identified There have been further incidents last night where walls have been damaged to access fields to drive round, so I would appreciate a discussion sooner rather than later if possible please, as I really do want to work with all the responsible stakeholders to reach a pragmatic and workable solution.
Regards

Ramsden Road & Yateholme PSPO Kirklees Approach Compared To Erewash Council.

The Kirklees Pound Shop TRO will not stop motorbikes on Ramsden Road.

 

It’s always good to compare the practice of different local authorities on similar issues. As luck would have it Erewash Borough Council in Derbyshire is currently in the process of consulting and drafting a Public Space Protection Order for an unmade lane in it’s area (Brackley Gate,Morley & Moor Lane, Little Eaton). The lane has been subject to alleged anti social behaviour associated with vehicular use along the same lines as Ramsden Road & the Yateholme Lanes in Kirklees.

The approach of Erewash Borough council is strikingly different to that of secretive Kirklees. Erewash have produced an extensive report for consideration by the Council Executive. The report can be viewed here Public Spaces Protection Order and it is worth a read to see an authority and it’s officers having a decent go at being open, accountable and acting in the public interest on an often contentious subject.

The report details extensive informal consultations carried out with residents and other interested parties. This is really crucial to establishing the degree of the anti social problem and whether or not a PSPO is the right answer. It’s clear in the Erewash case that everyone with an interest has been involved informally and this information along with more formal evidence of police involvement is there in the report. This is a good example of an authority following the statutory guidance for making PSPO’s. It puts the council and public in a robust position prior to a formal consultation.

In Kirklees the Ramsden Road/Yateholme Lanes PSPO came to public attention entirely by accident towards the end of January 2021. Kirklees managers refuse point blank to informally consult with any local residents in the area or any interested user groups or individuals who use the lanes apart from The Green Lane Association, who represent motor vehicle users. Indeed Kirklees have said of walkers that “We are being very clear who is within scope and that does not include walkers”. Despite numerous emails and phone calls from people interested in contributing the council will not engage.

A freedom of information request asking Kirklees to disclose who has been informally consulted and where the PSPO idea originates has yet to be answered and is now outside the legal timescale. Kirklees have been unable to provide any details on it’s current procedure for making a PSPO beyond saying it’s a “delegated officer” decision. However, no documentation has been provided to date to show this is the case. The Kirklees approach is inexplicable when compared to the Erewash case.

These PSPO’s are increasingly seen as cheap and cheerful Pound Shop Traffic Regulation Orders by some authorities. Perhaps that’s the attraction to Kirklees who displayed a shocking degree of incompetence when they made an erroneous TRO in 2018?

Sadly a Pound Shop TRO is not the answer for Ramsden Road and the Yateholme Lanes. They will remain open to all motorbikes at all times and to 4×4’s some of the time under the Pound Shop TRO. This will permit continued damage to the fabric of the lanes and the amenity of the area. Perhaps this is why Kirklees managers wish to sneak this through with minimum scrutiny ?

Ramsden Road – Excuses, Oil & Fuel Spills From 4×4’s & Walkers Not Included.

Ramsden Road, Holmfirth

Of late Kirklees Council have deployed the “we’re waiting for Yorkshire Water” excuse to any enquiries on the 25 year wait for repairs to Ramsden Road. It’s as lame as these excuses come and only serves to highlight the hapless council’s contempt for the public .

PathWatch has asked Yorkshire Water if they’d like to hurry up or if ,in fact, the council’s excuse is more in the “dog ate my homework, sir” category. In a very helpful response they have said that they’ve asked Kirklees for dates for a site visit and are actually waiting for them to respond.

They go on to say that as Ramsden Road carries motor vehicles their Water Quality Team are concerned that any drainage system Kirklees puts in does not channel water and any fuel/oil spill directly into the reservoir system. This is something Kirklees have never mentioned.

This is very sensible from Yorkshire Water and it highlights the lengths Kirklees Council are going to in order to keep the 4×4 lobby happy. Ramsden Road has never had such a drainage system in its history. Such a closed system will inevitably be far more costly and technically difficult to provide than the primitive drainage which 4×4’s have destroyed.

This is probably a good point to mention that the status of Ramsden Road is a Byway Open To All Traffic. As such it is recognised that historical vehicular rights exist dating back to the days of horse drawn carts etc. Such ways were recorded on Definitive Maps to both protect them and because their use was primarily that of bridleway ie used mostly by non motorised users such as walkers, riders and cyclists. Such use does not result in the degree of degradation caused by 4×4’s. It does not cost the public anything like the amounts involved in restoring the way for vehicle use. Nor are non motorised users a risk to the Holme Valley water supply.

Kirklees has seriously lost it’s way with Ramsden Road ( Really? Ed) and is giving priority to 4×4 motor vehicles at the expense of non motorised users. It’s proposed Public Space Protection Order will still permit motor vehicle use and the inevitable damage/pollution that goes with it. The hold up in a scheme of repairs seems partly due to having to provide a sealed drainage system to prevent oil/fuel leaks from 4×4’s entering the local water system.

The council’s disdain for non motorised users is summed up in its approach to the Public Space Protection Order proposal. The legislation and statutory guidance surrounding such orders emphasises “putting victims first”. In this respect pedestrians on Ramsden Road certainly fit the bill. The surface and drainage has been destroyed by 4×4’s, there is broken glass,lights and plastic all over the place, fly tipping, dangerous driving etc etc All this makes Ramsden Road an unpleasant place to be for pedestrians because of motor vehicles.

However, Kirklees managers don’t see it like this. According to them walkers in the PSPO process“are not an affected stakeholder” and they go on to say “We are being very clear who is within scope and that does not include walkers”. It does,of course, include 4×4 user groups and their representatives. At least, for the very first time, this is an honest answer.

Planning Application For Permanent Vehicular Access To Black Moss & Swellands.

Swellands reservoir.

A planning application has been submitted to the Peak Park by The Canal & Rivers Trust to build a road into Black Moss & Swellands Reservoir from the A62. This quiet area has no vehicle access and the character of the moors here will be changed by a development on this scale. The Pennine Way and many informal paths are directly affected. The proposal can be viewed here https://portal.peakdistrict.gov.uk/02210110 Comments on the application are open until 12th March 2021.

Kirklees To Repair Ramsden Road With Excuses!

In a startling announcement Kirklees Council have revealed that works to repair the badly damaged Ramsden Road will begin next week. A groundbreaking new technique is to be used on the byway which the council have spent several decades destroying.

A spokesman for the council told PathWatch “Although we live in challenging times and have diminishing resources for this kind of work we recently realised that we are resource rich in excuses. As it seems to be the only thing we never run out of we’ve decided to use our excuse bank to resurface Ramsden Road. The top section is relatively straightforward and we can use “We’re waiting for Yorkshire Water” on most of this. However on the steep slope we will need to use a large amount of “austerity” based excuses mixed with some old reliables like “Foot & Mouth”, “Finite budget”, “Competing demands” and “Resource envelopes”. So, some real heavyweight surfacing going on there.”

The council spokesman added that “using excuses like this fits with our green and renewable agenda. The real beauty of using excuses in a sensitive area like Ramsden Road is they blend into the countryside. I’d go as far as saying you can see right through them.”

BBC You & Yours Piece On Ramsden Road

Is off roading ever acceptable?  That’ll be a no!

The Beeb have been up on Ramsden Road with a long suffering local resident to do a piece on off roading. Many local voices have been drowned out by Kirklees & 4×4 groups propaganda so it is refreshing to hear Mr Wilson’s perspective as someone who lives near the byway. The piece starts at about 24 minutes here

“Having viewed the photographs provided there is nothing much we could consider at these locations”

Ramsden Road

The quote above is from Councillor Naheed Mather the Kirklees Cabinet Member for the Environment and was made in response to viewing the photos in this post. The images are of course from Ramsden Road and Kiln Bent Lane, the scene of much 4×4 damage to both the highway and surrounding countryside. Perhaps a visit to Specsavers early in the New Year would be a good idea.

December 2020
Deliberate 4×4 damage to land adjacent to Kiln Bent Road

Magdallen Road Meltham Bridleway 50

Trashed

That you can can see the scar on the hillside from miles away is an indication of the extensive damage that has been done to Magdalen Road, a public bridleway in the Peak District National Park. The road is Meltham Bridleway 50 and it’s popular with mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers in equal measure.

The new surface on Meltham Bridleway 50

There’s a lack of suitable off road routes for equestrians and cyclists in both the national park and wider Kirklees. That any public bridleway can be treated in this manner is appalling and thoughtless but not a surprise. At the moment who has carried out the work remains a mystery. Kirklees are advising that the work is unauthorised and enquiries are ongoing. Let’s hope they tackle this head on and quickly!

Plot Thickens On West Nab

 

Following on from It’s Not A Rifle Range. You Don’t Have To Keep Out. a number of ramblers have got in touch to point out that the above sign is not in fact on its own. Oh no, it has friends stretching back over 500 metres to the legitimate exclusion zone. A wall of “Danger Keep Out” signs on what is public access land. Here is the legitimate keep out zone Deer Hill Site Notice – July 2019  The sign above and its friends are over 500 metres away! 

It’s Not A Rifle Range. You Don’t Have To Keep Out.

This sign has recently appeared on West Nab. The legal exclusion zone is 540 metres away.

Between Shooters Nab and West Nab there is an exclusion zone in the CROW Act access land. The area is a “fall of shot” zone where, theoretically, some stray shot may fall to the ground from the firing range north of Shooters Nab. Rather than use a red flag system to keep people off when live firing is actually taking place, the exclusion is at all times. The area is clearly marked on OS Maps and on the ground by the type of sign shown above. So far so good.

Except the sign above has only recently appeared and it is some 540 metres to the south and outside of the legal exclusion zone. Someone has gone to a lot of effort to put it there. This isn’t far away from similar signs and a fake dog ban sign highlighted in https://path-watch.com/2020/09/03/meltham-moor/

Down on Wessenden Head Road where the public have traditionally parked to access West Nab someone is putting boulders within the width of the public highway and digging holes in other long established parking spots.

We really aren’t welcome in areas of our own countryside it would seem.

The red dot mark location of KEEP OUT sign. It should be with it’s friends where the green dot is 500m away.