The closure plan for Yateholme/Ramsden Road. Only available on PathWatch.
Some 2 weeks into a controversial consultation for a public space protection order banning some vehicles from the Yateholme and Ramsden Road areas the Kirklees website still does not show either the draft order or plan which is being consulted on.
PathWatch made some enquiries and obtained the DRAFT PUBLISHED ORDER but no plan. It seemed no one at Kirklees knew where the plan was or that the order and plan were not available to public inspection on the website. However, it has turned up and PathWatch is more than happy to help out the hapless bureaucrats. Download the plan here TF.18.200.287 Ramsden Road, Holmbridge-Plan You’re welcome.
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
In a pleasing hint that perhaps our local bureaucrats do have a cheeky sense of humour the public space protection order for Ramsden Road and the Yateholme Lanes was appropriately advertised in the local press on April Fools Day . Having spent the past 2 years telling us Ramsden Road must be open for all users all the time our hapless council have now double crossed all those who believed they actually meant that. A large swath of off roaders will be labeled anti social and banned from the lanes if they do not join the Green Lane Association for a ticket. All those locked out will no doubt be happy to oblige the trashing of vulnerable countryside elsewhere in the Holme Valley.
The answer to the green laning problem in the Holme Valley area is to put Traffic Regulation Orders prohibiting motor vehicles on all the lanes.
PathWatch will come back to the order in a future post. For now savour the extra half mile of hole the council has just dug itself into and the rich display of contempt council officers have heaped on residents and walkers in the area by completely ignoring their reasonable requests for engagement in favour of some 4×4 drivers. They must be an award for this kind of thing.
The newspaper advert provides a link to the order and plans on the council website. In true Kirklees form there’s nothing there! Perhaps it is an April Fool after all? (Probably the best hope for our local environment with these jokers.Ed.)
In stark contrast to the Ramsden Road/Yateholme shenanigans Kirklees Council have made a Traffic Regulation Order to close Huddersfield Byway 170/10 overnight to vehicles. The order can be viewed here . A gate has been placed on site to physically restrict traffic and the council will pay a security firm to open and close the gate daily for a period of at least 18 months. It just goes to show that not all byways in Kirklees are equal.
On Castle Hill there is no arrangement on access for “responsible” users as proposed in the Ramsden Road/ Yateholme Public Space Protection Order. Good and bad alike are banned overnight from driving up to enjoy Huddersfield’s most iconic and popular landmark. Such is the council’s muddled approach to byways in the area.
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com 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
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 ?
One of the many oddities of rights of way in the Kirklees district is that almost every single footpath is recorded as 1.2 metres wide in the statement accompanying the definitive map. The path above is a classic example of the mismatch between what often exists on the ground, and may have done for hundreds of years, and what Kirklees accept responsibility for. The normal highways convention would be that the public highway is the full extent of the width between walls but Kirklees record this path as only 1.2 metres wide.
The answer to this anomaly can be explained,in part, by the 1954 “West Riding Memo”. This records a historical sleight of hand by the original surveying authority, the West Riding County Council.
As part of its obligations under the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949 West Riding County Council had a duty to survey it’s area and record all public rights of way. These were then recorded on provisional, draft and finally a Definitive Map & Statement. The process was undertaken in the early 1950’s. Being a survey it should have recorded information found on the ground without any interpretation or subjective opinion. So the survey should establish if a way was a footpath or bridleway, the surface type and condition, the presence of gates,stiles and signs and the width of the path. Such information would be both evident on the ground and available from the evidence of path users.
The “West Riding Memo” shows a degree of subjective interference in the legal process which has no basis in the 1949 Act and has led to the significant under recording of path widths and subsequent loss of access to the public.
The memo was written by the County Engineer & Surveyor in December 1954. It instructs recipients involved in the surveying of public rights of way under the 1949 Act to deliberately change factual evidence in order to limit the County Council’s future maintenance liability. The County Engineer & Surveyor instructs that “all footpaths having a greater width than 6 feet should be changed to 4 feet” and “likewise all bridleways which are a greater width than 10 feet be reduced to 8 feet”. These “alterations” to the facts were to be done at the Draft Map stage.
The County Engineer & Surveyor justifies this change to the facts by stating that it was “to define the liability of the highway authority within the limits of ways which in some cases are 20, 30 and sometimes more feet between fences” It is doubtful that the County Engineer & Surveyor had any legal authority to change factual elements recorded in the survey of rights of way under the 1949 Act but he did it anyway!
One of the more glaring flaws in this approach is that the Highway Authorities 4 feet or 8 feet liability within the greater width was not defined (It couldn’t be could it?). Nearly 70 years on this causes Kirklees serious problems. The public often lose out when a dispute arises over a path width or location as the council has an under recorded width and cannot say exactly where it is! A good example of this is Holmfirth Footpath 60 where the 14 feet on the ground walked for hundreds of years has now been narrowed to the 4 feet recorded in the Definitive Statement.
A copy of the memo can be viewed here West Riding Memo Apologies for the quality but it was supplied by Kirklees.