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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.