The 17th of May 2021 saw the lifting of many lockdown restrictions. Bars, restaurants and hotels flung open their doors to weary members of the public who could now get a pint indoors and hug each other when tipsy enough.
On the same date a large swath of moorland above Holmfirth was placed into full lockdown with all public access closed for the rest of May and a chunk of June. The irony is wonderful and there really should be an award for this kind of thing.
The closure is perfectly legitimate as landowners can close access land for 28 days a year. It neatly demonstrates the short comings of the CROW access rights which fall way short of the Scottish system where this would never happen. Cheesed off ramblers can view the paper work at Natural England
So forget a bracing walk on the moors and go to the pub for a pint or three with shots of Kent,Brazilian or Indian chasers to make life both more interesting and possibly shorter.
Holmfirth Footpath 105 has pinned it’s political colours to it’s roadside signpost ahead of Thursday’s local elections.
For decades the Holme Valley has had 3 tory councillors. Two years ago we elected a labour councillor who was actually in the same century as the rest of us rather than a couple behind. Councillor Davies has undoubtedly had a positive effect on improving rights of way in the valley and getting the subject on the agenda in a way that hasn’t happened here for donkey’s years.
Below is the draft Public Space Protection Order for the Yateholme Lanes and Ramsden Road. The named officer in the newspaper ad for the order who’s telephone number and email address is given as a contact is “away from the office”. There is no copy of the order and plan at the link given in the formal advertisement. Although a copy of the order has been obtained from Kirklees the plan which goes with the order has not been supplied and the exclusion area is not identifiable. Regular readers will recall that Kirklees refused to engage with interested parties informally prior to the draft order as per government guidelines. There have been few, if any, checks and balances on Kirklees managers, and no democratic oversight from councillors throughout this process.
THE COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KIRKLEES
ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, CRIME AND POLICING ACT 2014, SECTIONS 59
THE COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KIRKLEES (Yateholme) (HIGHWAY ACCESS) PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION ORDER 2021
This Order is made by the Council of the Borough of Kirklees (“the Council”) under Section 59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”).
1. This Order relates to the places described in the Schedule below and defined by red colouring on the plan attached to this Order (“the Restricted Area”), being public places in the Council’s area to which the Act applies.
2. The Council is satisfied that the two conditions below have been met, in that:-
a) activities carried on in the Restricted Area, as described below, have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, or it is likely that these activities will be carried on in the public place and that they will have such an effect, the said activities being unrestricted vehicular access
b) that the effect, or likely effect, of the activities described above –
(i) is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature
(ii) is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and
(iii) justifies the restrictions imposed by this Order.
3. The effect of this Order is to impose the following requirement at all times namely that the public right of way over the highways referred to in the Schedule to this Order shall be restricted by the installation operation and maintenance of barriers.
4. The restriction imposed by paragraph 3 of this Order shall not:-
(i) restrict the public right of way over a highway in the Restricted Area for the occupiers of premises adjoining or adjacent to the highway
(ii) restrict the public right of way over a highway that is the only or principal means of access to a dwelling.
(iii) restrict access for licence holders
5. The Order will remain in force for a period of 3 years from the date of this Order, unless extended by further Orders under the Council’s statutory powers.
6. Any person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement imposed upon him by this Order commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or may be issued with a fixed penalty notice by an authorised person requiring payment of a sum not exceeding £100.
Any person who propels a vehicle within the definition of Mechanically Propelled Vehicle in section 185 Road Traffic Act 1988 or s136 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 unless such vehicle is listed within the exclusion below in the Restricted Area unless duly authorised by licence
The routes and point closures as shown marked red on the attached plan
being that part of Brownhill Lane, Holmfirth – at a point 5 metres south of the access to the public car park by Ramsden Reservoir.
Ramsden Road, Holmfirth – at a point 140 metres north-west of its junction with White Gate Road
Rake Head Road, Holme Moss – at a point 15 metres east of its junction with the A6024 Woodhead Road
Old Gate, Holme Moss – at a point 13 metres north-east of its junction with the A6024 Woodhead Road.
Two wheeled motorised vehicles
GIVEN under the Corporate Common Seal of the Council of the Borough of Kirklees this [ ] day of [ ] Two Thousand and Twenty One
THE CORPORATE COMMON SEAL of )
THE COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF )
KIRKLEES was hereunto affixed )
in the presence of:- )
Service Director – Legal, Governance and Commissioning/Authorised Signatory
Cheese Gate Nab Side is another unmade road in the Holme Valley suffering from both long term neglect by the Highway Authority, Kirklees, and abuse by off road motor vehicles.
The poor condition of the road, which is part of the Kirklees Way, was reported to Kirklees 2 years ago. The fabric of the road has deteriorated further in that time but Kirklees have neither responded to the reports or carried out any repairs. The lack of some simple drainage and surfacing works in 2019 has led to failure of the road which is now worse than the infamous Ramsden Road. Sadly what both roads have in common are an ineffective Highway Authority and being increasingly popular with off roaders/green laners.
With the proposed Public Space Protection Order for the Ramsden Road area routes like Cheese Gate Nab Side will come under ever more pressure from the anti social users denied access to Ramsden Road. This is something Kirklees have not properly considered. As usual council managers can’t fix a problem without at least creating another one to be going on with.
After asking what happened to the 2 year old report on Cheese Gate Nab Side it isn’t clear if the road was ever inspected but there is a note on file which states “This track leading up through Cheese Gate Nab has been in this exact same condition for 20+ years and has caused little to no issue over that period. NFA” Customer care at its best 🙂
The upside to lockdown last spring was that lots of people discovered their local paths—and as we return to lockdown they will do so again. But few will have realised that those local paths only exist because of the work of the Ramblers and our predecessors.
Without the Ramblers there would probably have been no definitive maps of public rights of way, which we won 71 years ago in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Before then, if you went for a walk and found your path blocked you had to prove it was a public highway before you could expect any action to clear it.
The definitive maps were just the start though. Then we had to claim the paths for the maps—not so easy in the 1950s when far fewer people had their own cars. Later…
Long forgotten Holmfirth Footpath 77 has now been waymarked and signed throughout its course between Edge End Lane & Mellor Lane. Lovely little path and well worth a visit for the views. Thanks Kirklees.
20 years on from the Crow Act 2000 and the “right to roam” and there are still areas around here where you can’t help but feel unwelcome. Meltham Moor is one of them. The stile at Muddy Brook Clough is not maintained and difficult to use. In contrast a misleading sign warning of a rifle range and highlighting a fictitious dog ban is very well looked after. For the record here is the only dog restriction in that area 2019108990 It’s over half a mile away.
Kirklees remove dangerous obstructions from highway. Don’t panic it wasn’t a public footpath and all council approved blockages remain in place. Furthermore this outbreak of ‘decisivness’ is under control and will not spread to the public rights of way network.