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2019 Newsletters

December 2019

posted 29 Dec 2020, 07:00 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways




This newsletter records what the RBBA committee have been involved with concerning Rights of Way in Rochdale, Rossendale and Bury in the last 3 months.


Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association praise police exercise educating how to pass horses safely

Date published: 29 September 2019


GMP’s Mounted Unit's Safer Pass Initiative, in partnership with The British Horse Society, saw 21 cars stopped for passing a horse too closely

GMP’s Mounted Unit's Safer Pass Initiative, in partnership with The British Horse Society, saw 21 cars stopped for passing a horse too closely 

Local bridleways group, Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association has praised a police exercise educating motorists on how to pass horses safely.

GMP’s Mounted Unit had a successful day out in Bolton on Wednesday 11 September, during their Safer Pass Initiative in partnership with The British Horse Society.

In just an hour and a half, the initiative saw 21 cars stopped for passing a horse too closely and one car seized for having no insurance.

Gill Morrell, Treasurer of the Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association, said: “We are really pleased to see that this important safety issue is being treated seriously by GMP.

“They are targeting areas of hotspots for future initiatives and so it is important that all horse riders report any near misses to both the police and the British Horse Society, which is compiling statistics for future use.

“This is the second time that GMP have addressed this important issue, as they carried out a campaign a few years ago educating motorists that the correct speed to pass horses on the road is 15mph. This enables motorists sufficient time to react to the potential unpredictable reaction caused by the flight instinct in any horse.

“This initiative can only help support the education that Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association tries to convey as it continues to work closely with councils to promote and secure safe off-road riding for all vulnerable members of the community, including horse riders and cyclists.

Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association is an award-winning local voluntary organisation representing local equestrian enthusiasts of all ages, abilities and social background.

It has been working to protect bridleways and by-ways of the area and create new safe off-road routes for horse riders for over 30 years.

You can report indents to GMP and the British Horse Society at:

Rochdale Rights of Way

Furbarn Lane – a DMMO application to create a bridleway from Edenfield Road opposite the War Memorial to Clay Lane was submitted at the Rights of Way meeting on 12th December.  2 other routes were included in the application: (a) From Ashbourne Street to Shepherd Street and (b) From the Rake to Lower Jowkin Lane.

Northdene Drive – It is nearly a year since Rochdale Council awarded an Order for bridleway status along this route. We are still waiting to hear if the Order is to be confirmed or if it will have to go to Public Inquiry because there are objections to this decision.

Plumpton Cottages – in the new year we will be concentrating our efforts in getting an application together for the route by Plumpton Cottages.

Bury Rights of Way

DMMO applications.

On 23rd October 2019 2 DMMO applications were submitted to Bury Council at the Local Access Forum meeting. These were (a) From the top of Hawkshaw Lane to Moorbottom Road to allow riders from Hawkshaw to access Holcombe Moor without using the main road through Hawkshaw and (b) Upgrading the western end of Bentley Hall Road to a restricted byway and also a spur through to Heights Barn Farm.

Chesham Road – RBBA have been invited to discussions with Bury Council concerning a proposal to tarmac a bridleway near Chesham Park.

There is a Special School which is accessed from the bridleway and staff are not happy with having to drive up the bumpy bridleway to access the staff car park! It’s only a few hundred metres! Estimates to tarmac this short length are in the region of £15 000 which is to come from the School’s budget. We have had a site visit with the Landscape Architect who has been tasked with this project. It is proposed to try and solve the drainage of water down the bridleway first by directing it away from the bridleway. If tarmac is to be resorted to RBBA have asked that a horse friendly strip of something like nu-flex is laid beside the tarmac.

RBBA are delighted that we have been consulted. Progress!

Walshaw – bridleway 143BUR

RBBA sent in a comment to Bury Planning concerning housing development adjacent to this bridleway. One request asked that cars and motorbikes were denied access from the new housing development onto this bridleway.


The following appeared in the Planning Document for this application.

RBBA hope that this is in response to our comment but there is no way of knowing this for sure.

Haweswater Aqueduct

The Haweswater Aqueduct is the pipe through which water is transported to the Manchester area from the Lake District. Apparently it is shortly due for refurbishment.

The pipeline is believed to pass to the east of the M66 as it passes by Bury. Nangreaves, Walmersley and Broad Oak are involved.

The green hatched areas on the following map shows the area affected. The other marked areas (F and G) show where construction compounds are to be sited. F is in Walmersley and G is at Broad Oak.

There is a document on Bury Planning website which gives the Scoping Opinion with all the details.

The Scoping Opinion states the following.

Unfortunately a well- used bridleway passes through area F.

We believe this bridleway may be under threat of closure, perhaps for 4 years, the duration of this project from 2023.

RBBA have already sent in a comment to the effect that if this bridleway is closed then horse riders will be forced on to Walmersley Old Road which is to be used as an access route for construction traffic to not only this project but also the housing development (260+ houses) on the Tetrosyl site at Bevis Green. We have pointed out that this would not be a safe scenario.

At present the public cannot comment on this Scoping Opinion. Apparently Bury Council have got to have their say first. However, as soon as it is open to public comments we hope that you will feel moved to write in and express your horror at the prospect of this bridleway being closed for such a long time. We will let you know of developments and when we can start sending in comments. Hopefully they may decide the bridleway does not need to be closed in the meantime.


In 2019 we have not been able to arrange many speakers. Since the September newsletter we have had a chat evening to keep in touch with our members and in November we had a “Call My Bluff” word quiz. Thank you to all of you who came to those 2 events.


In January and February  meetings will be at The Packhorse on Elbut Lane as usual, starting at 8pm.

On January 27th we will be holding our AGM and we warmly invite you to come and get the year off to a good start. We will have the evidence forms for Plumpton Cottages available.

On 24th February Simon Constable will be coming to give a talk about his premises.

From April we will be holding our meetings at a new venue yet to be decided as The Packhorse is to undergo a major refurbishment and our usual rooms will not be available. If you have any suggestions as to where we can meet please let us know.

Finally, the Committee of RBBA wish you a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. We thank you for your support in 2019 and look forward to seeing you in 2020.

September 2019

posted 29 Dec 2020, 06:58 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways




This newsletter records what the RBBA committee have been involved with concerning Rights of Way in Rochdale, Rossendale and Bury in the last 3 months. RBBA are still very busy preparing applications for upgrades to bridleways and trying to protect existing routes from potentially harmful planning applications.

Rochdale ROW

Furbarn Lane – Information concerning landowners associated with the application route is being assembled with the hope that this application can be submitted in the near future.

Healey Dell – The Valley of Stone Greenway in Lancashire is open to horse riders. However, as the route enters Rochdale horse riders are excluded. RBBA are taking steps to try and remedy this. Contact has been made with Highways and we are awaiting their reply.

Under the Pipe at Birtle - Some riders are struggling to get over a vehicle barrier put in “Under the Pipe”.  


The step-over section height was measured and found to be nearly 10cm higher than the recommended height of 250mm. This matter was raised at the latest Rochdale ROW meeting and we are awaiting developments.

Harwood Fields – A section towards the Elbut Lane end is getting flooded. The matter was raised at the Rochdale ROW meeting and we are awaiting developments.   Julie Simpson is going to visit.

Woodtop – The newly resurfaced bridleway from Wolstenholme Fold down to Paperhouse Bridge. What an improvement.


Bury ROW

Elton Reservoir application – This application is going to Public Inquiry.

Ainsworth applications –We have received from The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) a copy of Bury Council’s reasons for not getting on with processing the Ainsworth applications. Basically they are saying that the Rights of Way Officer has so much work to do he hasn’t got time to get on with these applications. Perhaps they need another ROW Officer to help out!!!! We now wait to see what instructions PINS give to Bury Council on this matter.

Old Kays, Tottington – an application for a bridleway across Old Kays Country Park at Tottington was sublitted at th LAF meeting in July. Most of the land this route crosses is owned by Bury Council.

Holcombe Moor -  The MOD have now reopened the sheep track between Pilgrims Cross on Holcombe Moor and Buller Hill, only when the red flags are NOT flying. This reverses their previous decision to close this route. Bury North MP, James Frith, was involved in the campaign to open this route again.

24BUR Sandy Lane.  On 22nd August more documents were added to the website for this application, several concerning drainage and re-surfacing proposals. The plans included 11 cross drains which are not recommended for bridleways as the metal grating is slippery and shoes can be caught in the holes.

There were also proposals to use 250mm sandstone gravel to resurface the bridleway. Committee decided this size of stone could get stuck in hooves. A BHS leaflet also advised that a fine top dressing should be applied. Another letter was sent in to planning raising our concerns about these proposals and we have had discussions with one of the people involved in this application about our worries.

Hawkshaw Lane – A meeting took place at the beginning of August on site with RBBA, the landowner, Bury ROW Officer,  representative of the National Trust (a landowner on the moor),  and a representative of Natural England (because the moor is an SSSI). The meeting was to discuss the possibility of the landowner dedicating the route across their land onto the moor as a bridleway. After several weeks the landowner contacted us saying that they do not intend to dedicate this route as a bridleway. RBBA will therefore submit an upgrade application (a DMMO) based on historical evidence.

21BUR -  This footpath joins Mather Road to the bridleway across the M66 in Walmersley. It runs across land belonging to Walmersley Golf Club. RBBA have approached Walmersley Golf Club and asked if they would dedicate this route as a bridleway. Initial responses from the Golf Club have been positive and we are awaiting further developments.

Redisher Lane, Holcombe Brook - IP had written a letter to Bury Planning about a proposed demolition of a building which uses a bridleway at Greenacre/Redisher Lane as access with no alternative route available.  The letter was not an objection, just highlighting the needs of equestrians faced with HGVs, diggers, dumper trucks etc servicing the demolition and then building site.

Meeting with Bury’s Director of Operations - On July 25th Lesley Tierney and Irene Pope, as representatives of Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association, had a meeting with David Brown, The Director of Operations at Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, the department that includes ROW. This meeting was made possible through the efforts of one of Lesley’s Ward Councillors who has been very supportive of our cause. At the meeting we put forward our case for more off-road routes for horse riders in Bury and the need for such routes to keep horse riders off the increasingly dangerous roads. Recently we had sent in a Direction Request to the Secretary of State because Bury were dragging their feet about processing our DMMO applications. We also discussed horse riders using cycleways on old railway lines, of which there are quite a few in Bury, and also access to the Greater Manchester Bee Network in Bury. The talks were positive but any progress to be made dogged by lack of budget and resources.

We left a file containing our version of the “Hampshire” document and also the various comments by ministers which have been made recently concerning the inclusion of horse riders in Cycling and Walking Strategies. We are indebted to HAC for their inspiration and resources. developers. We also included the various comments by Government ministers which have been made recently concerning the inclusion of horse riders in Cycling and Walking Strategies such as the Greater Manchester Bee Network. 

Road Signs - Northumberland County Council have embarked on an excellent idea to improve road safety for both car drivers and horse riders. This compliments the campaign by Greater Manchester Police and the BHS a few years ago. It would be good to see a similar initiative in Bury. Signs around the Borough at places used by horse riders would go a long way towards improving road safety for all. Ainsworth village would be a good starting point.

IP sent this information to David Brown, Director of Operations at Bury MBC, to see if they would put up some new road signs showing the safe distance between horses and cars.

Future Events

Please keep an eye on our Facebook page about our future events.

June 2019

posted 29 Dec 2020, 06:55 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways



JUNE 2019

This newsletter records what the RBBA committee have been involved with concerning Rights of Way in Rochdale, Rossendale and Bury in the last 3 months.

Rochdale ROW

RBBA pointed out that the problems at Knacks Lane had not been included in the minutes of the last meeting. Julie Simpson (Rochdale ROW Officer) explained that as it had already been raised as a formal complaint it had been logged on the Council ROW Issue list, the complainant had had a response and there was no point in recording it in two places. Gill checked if it had been recorded on the ROW issue list that they were going to keep an eye on the tarmac situation for a greater period than the initial proposed 3 months. Julie confirmed this was the case.

Woodtop (Mile canter) has been confirmed. Bridleway Signs will form part of the surveys going on this year.

Northdene Drive is still in with legal to get OK to proceed with order.

RBBA raised a question about the status of the path from Mutal Street to Heywood Cricket Club. Julie explained that when she is talking with developers she points out routes which horse (or walkers) have used for many years and suggests they treat them as ROW. This is the approach she would be taking at Crimble Mill. As the Mutual Street route is not linked with any development plans we are unsure exactly what is meant by this statement. As this route is not on the Definitive Map (DM), not on the List of Streets, is not an Adopted Highway and has no name and has a DM footpath and bridleway joining it we have decided to put together a DMMO application to record its status on the DM as a bridleway.

 Rochdale Rights of Way Improvement Plan should be in draft sometime this Financial  Year

This next year RMBC are concentrating on signposting and way marks. All paths in Rochdale will be surveyed to find out the scope of what is needed. This has done this already for Littleborough and  Milnrow and Middleton are next.

Newly erected finger posts on the Pennine Bridleway


Bury ROW

Elton Reservoir application – There are 10 objections to this application. Just before Easter RBBA received a letter from Bury Rights of Way Officer outlining the objections submitted by an objector to this application. We were invited to comment on these objections, which we did in a 19 page response. The points we raised are going to be used to try and get the objector to withdraw their objections before the application is sent to the Secretary of State for determination.

Ainsworth applications – there has been no movement by Bury Council to process these applications which were submitted over 2 years ago. We are therefore entitled to apply to the Secretary of State to ask for Bury Council to be directed to determine this application by a certain date, usually within 12 months. This is called a Direction Request under Schedule 14, paragraph 3(2) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. We submitted a Direction Request to the Planning Inspectorate in April. In early June we received an e-mail from PINS (Planning Inspectorate) informing us that a letter has been sent to Bury Council asking them to state their case. BMBC have until 15th July to respond.

24BUR Sandy Lane.  The application was re-submitted on 4th April 2019. RBBA sent in a letter outlining our concerns that the application would lead to an increase in vehicular traffic along the route and that the proposed new surface must be suitable for horses.

Hawkshaw Lane

A route from the top of Hawkshaw Lane onto Holcombe Moor is being considered for a DMMO application for a footpath to bridleway upgrade. The application has been written based on historical evidence but as only one landowner is involved it was thought a good idea to ask that landowner to dedicate the route as a bridleway. A letter was written and sent and the landowner contacted us by phone and suggested a meeting with us, Bury ROW Officer and the MOD. We are awaiting the date for this meeting.

Lords debate 2nd April 2019

Lord Greaves 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the progress that has been made in the registration of historic rights of way and of the benefits of extending the cut-off date for their registration.

Before this debate RBBA sent a letter to Lord Greaves supporting the extension of the cut-off date. We received a very nice reply from Lord Greaves thanking us for our letter.

Volunteer groups were mentioned in Lord Greave’s speech. If you click on the following link you can read the whole debate.

Historic Rights of Way - Hansard

Hansard (the Official Report) is the edited verbatim report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Daily Debates from…

“I am grateful for the large number of letters that I have had from people on the ground all over the country—from Yorkshire, Burnley, Rochdale, Northumberland, Bromley, Rossendale, Cambridgeshire and Wales—explaining how hopeless it is. I shall quote from one or two of them to show what the position is. Cosima Towneley, chairman of the Burnley Bridleways Association and chairman of the National Federation of the Bridleway Associations, says:

“The Government—of which ever hue—gallops towards the Cut Off but has failed to undertake a single action promised … Where is the 2015 report which should have given an indication as to the viability of projects such as Discovering Lost Ways … Where is the support at Local Authority level to carry the huge backlog of claims and the enquiries they generate through to implementation on the ground?”.

From Northumberland, Susan Rogers writes:

“Even when a decision has been made for an order to add or to upgrade a path, there can be a long delay before the legal department of the council makes the order … At the moment if there is an objection, even an irrelevant one, the order has to be sent to the Secretary of State for confirmation”.

And so on. There is a huge amount of frustration and dismay from people who are doing tremendous work at their own expense and in their own time.”

Horse Access Campaign (HAC)

This Facebook page brings equestrians from all over the country together to lobby for better access for horse riders. RBBA fully support this group. This is an example of their work. Rachel Thompson‎ to Horse Access Campaign UK

Today was a very noteworthy day. We went to 10 Downing Street for an informal discussion with The Rt Hon Lord Randall of Uxbridge Kt. PC who is the Special Advisor on the Environment for the Prime Minister’s Office. I represented The Trails Trust and the Horse Access Campaign UK. Pippa Langford Natural England’s Principal Specialist Recreation And Access came to advise on technical matters as a long standing colleague and advisor of many years.
We talked about the need for connectivity, safe roads, crossing points, upgrading rights of way, new creations, the historic rights of way application process, 2026 and how it might affect unowned lanes and unsurfaced unclassified roads and how all of that fits with the Government’s 25 year Environment plan and with future environmental land management schemes.
This meeting happened because we lobbied the Lords when the historic rights of way debate was happening. It shows how important it is that we keep putting our case clearly and calmly to those who can help.

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Pass wide and slow ride down Rooley Moor Road, mid-morning Sunday April 14th 2019

The intrepid leader, Hayley Oliver, superwoman. Ready for the off outside Lane Head Stables.

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Riding down Rooley Moor Road                                 In the thick of it on Rooley Moor Road

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                                                                                     They’re there somewhere!

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The drivers were very considerate, going very slowly and giving the riders a wide berth.

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                                                                                          The riders stopped to let the queue of traffic pass

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                                                                                       This police van, although not speeding, didn’t slow          

                                                                                        down though!

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RBBA propose to organise a “Pass Wide and Slow” ride next year through Ainsworth village, Bury on 10th May 2020. Watch our Facebook page for details nearer the time.

Future Events

Please keep an eye on our Facebook page about our future events.

March 2019

posted 29 Dec 2020, 06:43 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways



MARCH 2019

This newsletter records what the RBBA committee have been involved with concerning Rights of Way in Rochdale, Rossendale and Bury in the last 3 months.



The bridleway Order is very nearly confirmed and will soon make its way onto the Definitive Map to be preserved for horse riders forever.

Northdene Drive.

The DMMO application to upgrade footpath RocFp13a between Northdene Drive and Bury New Road was finally approved by Rochdale Township Committee on 23rd January 2019. There will now be a 42 day period of public consultation during which anyone can object to the proposal. You can also support it!  If, after the consultation period, no-one has objected the Order will be confirmed. If someone objects, and we know of at least one objector, the application will go to the Planning Inspectorate (Secretary of State) for a decision.

RBBA’s complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman about the inappropriate behaviour of some Councillors at the Rochdale Township meeting on 19th October has been rejected. The LGO consider correct procedure was followed by the Monitoring Office in investigating our complaint. The question is their procedure may be OK but who policies the decision made? Not the LGO apparently.

Furbarn Lane

Thank you to those who came to our November meeting and filled in evidence forms for Northdene Drive. We are still working to collect even more forms so if you know anyone who has ridden the route please encourage them to get in touch with us or come to a meeting and fill in a form.

Knacks Lane, Rooley Moor

Just before Christmas residents at Rooley Moor and Prickshaw had mor tarmac laid on Knacks Lane, part of the Mary Towneley Loop. The tarmac is very smooth and local riders are concerned that it will present a slipping hazard to their horses. The residents did not get permission for the work from Rochdale Council as they should do. RBBA contacted Rochdale’s Rights of Way Officer and initially we were told that the residents would have to put a horse-friendly top dressing on the tarmac or remove it. However, after Christmas we were told that the ROW Officer will be monitoring the situation over the next few months. If you are concerned about this tarmac or your horse has slipped on it please phone Rochdale Council and tell them.

At the Rochdale Rights of Way meeting in January 2019the situation on Knacks Lane was brought up by RBBA. We expected this to be minuted but it was not. A query to Julie Simpson about this has not been answered. The matter will be brought up at the next ROW meeting.


Crimble Lane

A Scoping Opinion has been submitted to Rochdale Council as a precursor to building 250 houses on fields near to Crimble Mill and making accommodation in Crimble Mill itself. The application includes a proposal to use the bridleway from the A58 to Crimble Mill (Hey Bp59) as an access route to the development. RBBA have written in to complain about this use of the bridleway on the grounds of increased risk to equestrian users of the bridleway faced with a possible 500+ more vehicles using the way.

In the Decision Notice issued on 18th February all of the comments submitted by  RBBA were included.

The problem at Crimble was also mentioned at the ROW meeting and not minuted.

Plumpton Woods

RBBA are considering producing a DMMO application to upgrade the footpath Het Fp57 from the B6222 through to Plumpton Woods to a bridleway. If you have ridden this route and can fill in an evidence form to support this application please contact us on

Gristlehurst (Hey Bp35)

Rochdale Council have resurfaced this bridleway. Some riders are concerned that the stones used are too large and will bruise horses’ feet.


Rochdale’s ROW Officer was contacted. This is the reply we received.

“ I was there yesterday as the Contractor had run over the route with a heavier roller, I think it just needs time now to settle in however I know horse riders are cantering along it and it probably will not last that long as there are already spots where the stone has been kicked up”

Pennine Bridleway at Healey Dell


The Pennine Bridleway at Healey Dell has been part of the National Cycle Route 92 for many years. It now seems it is part of the Valley of Stone Greenway, also The East Lancashire Cycleway.  This is being described as a shared spaced, available to walkers, cyclists and horse riders and wheel chair users. If this description is adhered to along the whole Greenway you should in theory be able to ride to Waterfoot. However, as the map shows there are some gaps and blockages.  A new rubberised surface is currently being laid (March) and the route is closed temporarily at Healey Dell. 


Elton Reservoir

On 17th January 2019 the bridleway Order for Elton Reservoir to the west of Bury was advertised in the Bury Times. It has taken 4 years and a lot of lobbying to get this far. There is now 42 days for public consultation when any objectors can write in and oppose the order. If there are no objectors the Order will be confirmed. If there are objectors the matter will go to Public Inquiry.

Ironically, the western end of this route from St. Andrew’s Road to Doffer Fold Farm will be swallowed up in the GMSF proposals for new housing in the Green Belt if they are approved!

Definitve Map Modification Orders (DMMO)

Three more DMMOs have been submitted to Bury Council based on historical evidence. 

  • Ainsworth Hall Road to compliment the six applications around Ainsworth submitted in 2017.

  • A footpath between Watling Street at affetside and Turton Road going past Tom Nook Farm.

  • Three footpaths between Cann Street at Tottington and Turton Road.

It will be many years before these applications will be processed but we must identify and apply for routes before 2026.


This footpath between Mather Road and the bridleway that goes over the M66 is regularly used by local riders and is an important link between Chesham, Birtle and Buckhurst.  A DMMO is being prepared on User Evidence. If you have ridden this route and are prepared to complete an evidence form please contact us by e-mail –


A retrospective planning application has been submitted to Bury Council to widen bridleway 24BUR from Halsall Close to Davises Farm. This is in preparation for turning the adjacent Gorse Quarry into a fishing/leisure centre. The work has actually been done without planning permission and this has upset ecologists as Gorses Quarry is a Site of Biological Interest (SBI). Great Crested Newts live there and rare acid heathland has been destroyed.

In January RBBA submitted a neutral comment raising concerns about the increase in vehicular traffic along a bridleway which this proposal will generate.

In February the address of the application was changed to “Access Road to Gorses Quarry”. On the basis that an access road would result in increased vehicular traffic along the bridleway RBBA changed stance from neutral to object by submitting a second letter.

In mid- February the application was again withdrawn!! There were over 100 objections to it.

Ainsworth Bridleway Applications

With the Elton Reservoir application well on its way we are now trying to persuade Bury Council to process the 6 DMMO applications around Ainsworth village which were submitted in 2017. The Council are very reluctant to do this saying Rights of Way have a very low priority and saying they do not have the budget for the job. We have enlisted the help of a Ward Councillor and we have warned the Council that we will proceed with a Direction Request if they do not start processing the applications. A Direction Request asks the Secretary of State to tell Bury Council to investigate the applications by a certain date and come to a decision.  


We have finally been able to have a conversation with Lancashire ROW about the “swimming pool” on the Dunham bridleway and the need for the drainage ditch to be dug out on “The Drains”.

Apparently the pool of water on Dunham will be sorted by the landowner when the weather improves and the ROW Officer is intending to inspect “The Drains”.

Good news. Week beginning 25th February contractors repaired bridleway 206, “The Drains”. 

             Before                                                                                                After




Looking towards Buckhurst


Spring Mill Whitworth

Bee Network

The Bee Network is a £160 million scheme promoted by The Mayor, Andy Burnham, to develop walking and cycling tracks throughout Greater Manchester. Chris Boardman is the schemes figurehead, the Walking and Cycling Commissioner.

RBBA wrote to Andy Burnham in the autumn asking for horse riders to be included. Having had no reply RBBA tried again in February with another e-mail request for horse riders to be included in the scheme. Amazingly we got a reply from Chris Boardman’s PA. This is what was said.

“Many thanks for writing in again. We were passed your original letter and it was logged with the large range of letters of support from across Greater Manchester for the cycling and walking Bee Network we’re building.  

As the Mayor’s Commissioner, Chris Boardman has a remit that covers walking and cycling; however, the vast majority of the investment will be on the highway network. The basic design standards for the network are that it must be useable by a competent 12 year old riding a bike, or someone pushing a double buggy, so the safety standards, width of routes etc must meet these criteria. This means that the network will also benefit horseriders, as well as those using wheelchairs or adapted bikes etc. The Bee Network is being designed by local councils in partnership with colleagues at TfGM, and gained over 4000 comments on its first draft, so when the next draft of the map is published later this spring, do submit comments, and you can also contact local councillors about particular routes in your area. Major schemes will be subject to public consultations, and you can keep abreast of these on our web page:  

Best wishes and thanks again for contacting us”

If you click on the links you can find out more about this scheme.

Still a lot of work to do identifying routes that could be useful to horse riders and lobbying the appropriate people to get us included, but we may have a foot in the door.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

RBBA has submitted comments on the GMSF

The main points made are:

  • In any developments bridleways and byways should be avoided as access routes otherwise they will no longer be “off-road” routes and public users will be put at risk through increased contact with vehicular traffic. An alternative access route should be sought. Failing that a new track for walkers, cyclists and horse riders should be constructed by the developer, fenced off from the vehicular route.  

  • Diverted PROW should be sensitively positioned to give a positive experience for the user. 

  • New developments are a good opportunity to enhance the network for all user groups, including horse riders, by providing off-road routes, some of which could provide links between existing PROW.

  • Horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians successfully share routes on bridleways. The development of a cycle network, funded by the public purse, provides an excellent opportunity to create multi-user routes to be used by all non-motorised users. Where practical, horse riders should be given access to all new paths and cycle ways and opportunities should also be taken to changing rights on existing routes where safer access is required.

  • Think walker, think cyclist , THINK HORSE RIDER.

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