The public Inquiry into the proposed stopping up and diversion of Holmfirth 60 takes place on 23rd of August. The Department of Transport publish documents relating to the inquiry here and it is regularly updated.
This process is funded by the taxpayer. So if you want to see what your money is spent on, are interested in the path or just can’t sleep, it’s worth a read.
An occasional series of snippets and comment on the mismanagement of byways & unsealed roads in Kirklees.
Previously on PathWatch we reported that Kirklees were taking the proposed permit scheme for Ramsden Road in house. This has now been confirmed in the updated omnishambles “consultation” information on the website. In a nutshell the council have chucked the cost of a couple of footbridges at a barrister to tell them something they already knew and then decided not to do it anyway! Fascinating how money is always available for this kind of thing isn’t it?
The real side splitter in the updates is this –
Why we did not initially make the full information available online, and have not withdrawn the order
There was a technical glitch that meant the full information was not available for some of the period of the consultation. Once this was recognised the order was re-advertised in the press and the full information was online, with the consultation period extended to ensure the full 21 days was available to comment.
That’s a rather generous way of describing the mother of all consultation cock ups! Ironically PathWatch was the only place the full info was available in the original consultation time period. The person at Kirklees who can upload of PDF’s to to the internet was perhaps really busy at the time or had forgotten the password.
Quads are now to be permitted under the order.Everyone knows all members of the public who use them off road are really responsible, like motorbike riders.
The Council proceeds to drive a coach and horses (see what I did there?) through it’s own arguments for making the order by saying –
Why we only show the routes and the points of access
The council has control of those areas. If somebody leaves that route they are then committing an offence, and any further damage or unauthorised access is a matter of criminal damage (if damage is caused) and trespass and is matter for the landowner and the Police.
The whole point of the PSPO was to tackle anti social behaviour in the form of off piste activity and dumping on adjacent land. If this order comes into force any vehicle indulging in off route activity cannot be issued with a fine under the terms of the PSPO. The police’s life would be made much easier if they could issue fines for off piste drivers under the terms of the order rather than prove criminal damage or have a landowner prove trespass. In other PSPO’s in Kirklees 3rd party land such as that of Yorkshire Water is included ie the bbq ban.
The order is useless in effect. So long as you have a permit to access the highways you can continue to drive off piste and not risk a fine. Motorbikes and quad bikes cannot be fined for off piste driving either. What’s the point?
There is no immediate prospect of the routes being repaired and it looks as if the PSPO will not come into force until 2022. Cocking up things to these degree can’t be rushed.
In other news the costs of an Experimental TRO on Castle Hill mount up with the installation of a lighting column and crash barriers. The Council have refused to disclose the costs of paying a security firm to open/close the gate daily for 18 months. Their first excuse was the “costs are being absorbed into an existing contract” but when asked to do better they came up with “disclosure is not in the public interest”. Aye, right. It must be around £40k by now? There are actually 5 PSPO’s in force on Castle Hill and one can only wonder just what anti social behaviour remains up there?
Lastly, it appears that Kirklees are about to place a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order on Cheesegate Nabside, banning 4×4’s. More on this in due course.
PathWatch is pickin’ up good vibrations from a couple of current proposed diversions which tidy up some long standing issues. Kirkburton 186 & 145 and Denby Dale 6 (missing from Kirklees Website ) both regularise the situation on the ground. If stile & step free, waymarked and with a decent surface these are good diversions.
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…