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2020 Newsletters

December 2020

posted 29 Dec 2020, 07:10 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways

ROCHDALE & BURY BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER  

DECEMBER 2020 

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 committee has still been working hard on your behalf during the Coronavirus  crisis.  

Rochdale 

Splash Lane 

In early October the newly repaired Splash Lane was eroded again. Rochdale  Council very promptly carried out repairs. Thank You Rochdale Council. 

Woodhouse Lane 

A recent post on Facebook showed a car parked such that it blocked the access to  the horse gate beside the cattle grid at the top of Woodhouse Lane. 

 

RBBA have now put a notice on the gate asking people not to park and so block  access to the gate. 

For interest, also in that area, the bridleway has been resurfaced by someone. This  has not been requested by RBBA. 

Valley of Stone Greenway (Healey Dell) 

This is a response to an enquiry from Councillor Heakin.

Bridleway between Dixon Fold and Bamford Way 

The access to this bridleway from the Dixon Fold end had been blocked by a cabin  placed just at the entrance to the bridleway. 

Rochdale Rights of Way were informed and the cabin was moved. We are  considering another sign here as there has also been a problem with parked cars  restricting access.

RBBA are considering making a DMMO application for an upgrade to bridleway  status for the tracks that link this bridleway to Norden Road and War Office Road as  both these routes are unadopted and not rights of way. 

From War Office Road 

To Norden Road

RocERUPP 19 

Whilst looking into the problem at Dixon Fold a restricted byway was discovered on  the other side of Norden Road leading from Hollin Lane to Bamford Mews.  Unfortunately there is a barrier at the Bamford Mews end which stops horse riders  passing. Does anyone know when this route was brought into existence as it does  not appear on the 1976 definitive map?  

This is the official description of the route, the statement. 

From RocEFp18, route runs north on 4.8m wide tarmac road from Hollin Lane (hedge &  tennis courts, left, verge and trees, right) to Hopwood Farm (left) where route turns NE on  tarmac path (5m wide) grass verge left, trees right and continues across car park. Route  then turns north on grass track between Top o' th' Lane Bungalow (left) & Cherrywood  House (right) to end at RocEFp15. 

Does anyone know when Top o’ th’ Lane Bungalow and Cherrywood House were  built?

Gates 

Several gates have been causing problems 

Shawfield 

This gate near Willowmead Way has been rehung by the Council but we are still  waiting for the cement and sand bags to be moved from the access. 

This gate near Fisherfields nursery at the top of Hargate Avenue now swings well  and the offending bolt has been sawn flush by RBBA.

This dangerous bolt has been removed.Nabbs Wife 

This is the gate at the side of Ashworth Valley leading down to Nabbs Wife. It has  been reported to Rochdale Rights of Way. 

Castle Hill Quarry 

A vehicle barrier has been placed at The Church Inn end of the bridleway that runs  over the top of Castle Hill Quarry in Birtle. This is to deter off-roaders from using the  route. RBBA were involved in the discussions about this some time ago and  attended a site meeting with Councillors and local riders. 

Looking towards the quarry 

Looking towards Castle Hill Road


The route in  

The stepover. 

Bury 

Hollins Vale 

RBBA have been involved in discussions with local riders in the Hollins area who are  trying to get a route through Hollins Vale to avoid the busy main road between  Pilsworth and Blackford Bridge. The one that goes past Asda. The land belongs to  Viridor who have been approached but flatly refuse to contemplate the idea.  

Extract from Bury’s on-line Definitive Map 

The green line  

labelled 79BUR is  

question is the  purple line labelled  84BUR.

Aviation Road and  a bridleway. 

The red line  

labelled 87BUR is  Castle Road and a  restricted byway. 

Both these routes are available to  horse riders 

84BUR makes a good off  

road link between  

Aviation Road and Castle  

Road. They just have to  

ride through an estate at  

the bottom end. 

Otherwise they have to  

ride the busy main road  

from Asda Pilsworth to  

Blackford Bridge.

The route is used by cyclists and a DMMO can be submitted using cycling evidence  to upgrade to a restricted byway. This method is being tried for this route and RBBA  continue to help the local riders put together an application 

Bevis Green, Walmersley 

Tetrosyl Mill, alongside bridleway 15BUR which goes under the M66 through a  tunnel and then down to Mather Road in Walmersley, has been demolished. The site  is being cleared and then houses will be built. There is heavy machinery working  close to the bridleway which could cause problems for some horse riders, so be  aware if you intend to use this route. 

Kirklees Trail 

The Kirklees Trail is about 3 miles long and follows a disused railway track. It is a  concessionary multi-user route, horse riders are allowed and at each end there are  signs warning people to be aware of horses using the route. 

Partway along the trail there is a viaduct. Signs forbid horse riders to use this bridge.  

RBBA have queried this ban, comparing this bridge with those taking bridleways  across the M66 in the Walmersley area.

Kirklees  

bridge

24BUR crossing  

M66 

  

We have sent the BHS guidelines on bridge specifications for horse riders to Bury Council,  asking for this bridge to be made available to horse riders as it complies with the BHS  guidelines.  

The following was received the week before Christmas 

“After some discussion we took the decision at Woolfold that some horses would be  spooked by the height so it was best not to allow them on the new viaduct. The  parapet height is therefore for cycles, not horses. Whilst horses are allowed on the  rest of the trail, the idea was to develop a viaduct by-pass route for horses along the  north east side of the Kirklees Valley, but it’s not complete yet. (see attached) 

My understanding is that the by-pass required the transfer of private land to the Authority.  This was deemed to be something that would soon be resolved, but the land remains in  private ownership. Chris is still hopeful that the project will go ahead but there are no  timescales for it to happen. 

As stated in the LAF meeting, this route is not recorded as a public right of way and I refer to  it as a “linear park”. As a result this a “Council facility” issue rather than public rights of  way/highway.” 

So again horse riders are left out of an off-road route. We will have to think again about what  to do next. 

Kirklees  

Trail 

To 

Tesco

Castlecroft 

Castlecroft is near to Bury Town Centre and the Burrs Country Park. In the 1990s horse  shows were held there twice a year. It can be accessed off the Kirklees Trail using the NCN  cycle route 6 off Brandleshome Close. We have established at the last Bury Local Access  Forum meeting in December 2020 (a virtual affair) that horse riders can use the routes within  this area. There is also the possibility to cross the Irwell Valley from Castlecroft using the  cycle route that goes behind Tesco. 

The yellow lines show route horse riders can use. The red lines are footpaths. 

Rossendale 

Spring Mill 

Work has started at the old mill site called Spring Mill between Wallbank and  Prickshaw Lane near to Whitworth. The route horse riders have used for ages to get  between Bridleway 114 and Bridleway 140 (the Mary Towneley Loop/Pennine  Bridleway) ran straight across the development site and is now gated off. The asked  for alternative running down the west of the development site is now being built. This  alternative will incorporate the diverted footpath 70 and a bridleway. It is not yet clear  whether this route will be definitive. 

 

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan 

RBBA have completed the consultation document for this proposal and also sent a  letter to local MPs. We asked that Private HGVs, ie Horseboxes, be exempted from  the charges that are proposed. These charges are £60 for driving a vehicle through  

Greater Manchester from outside the area or £10 for residents of Greater  Manchester.  

Thank you for your support in 2020. We have no idea when  we will be able to have General meetings again. There is  still a lot of work being done by RBBA to protect, increase  and improve routes for horse riders. Let’s hope 2021 is a  happier new year than the last one.


September 2020

posted 29 Dec 2020, 07:08 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways

ROCHDALE & BURY BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER  

SEPTEMBER 2020 

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 committee has still been working hard on your behalf during the Coronavirus crisis.  

Although we continue with our work to upgrade footpaths to bridleways (Definitive Map  Modification Orders – DMMOs), we are finding more and more that we are having to work to  protect existing bridleways from new developments such as housing developments. 

Rochdale 

Woodtop 

Woodtop/Mile Canter, whatever you like to call it, is now a bona-fide Definitive Map  bridleway. Thank you to all of you who filled in evidence forms for this route. 

Splash Lane 

Splash Lane leads from Ashworth Road and this bridleway eventually takes you across the river in  Ashworth Valley and thence to Birtle.  

Rochdale Rights of Way have made some improvements to this bridleway which had to be closed  after the winter because parts of the surface had been washed away. The following photos show  some of the improvements. 

Concerns have been raised about the narrowness of the section approaching the gate leading down  into Ashworth Valley. This feature has been installed to try and deter off-roaders. If you experience  problems drop us an e-mail via our website or let Rochdale Rights of Way know.

 

  

 The narrow section  

Healey Dell 

RBBA are trying to get access for horse riders along the NCN cycle route through Healey Dell On 18/09/2019 16:41, Councillor Kieran Heakin wrote: 

As far as I am aware, we are looking at this at our meeting next Tuesday – Healey Dell Joint  Management. I am personally very supportive of the scheme and hope that we can have a  bridleway through from Whitworth to Healey and on through to Rochdale. I have spent today  walking along the route from Shawclough to Rossendale, so I am well briefed and ready for  our meeting.

1st July 2020 

Dear Councillor Heakin, 

I was wondering if you might have any progress to report on this matter. We are keen to  provide riders in the area with as many safe off road routes as possible to avoid the ever  increasing number of road accidents involving horses. This route seems to be an easy win as  the surface and width of the path is such that there is no need for any additional expenditure.  The route would enable riders to avoid the busy Whitworth Road whilst linking the Mary  Townley Loop with the Bridlepath along the disused railway line leading to Syke Common.  All that would be required would be the gates unlocking and perhaps horse steps provided at  each end to prevent the unauthorised use by motorbikes. Horse Riding is very comptable with the nature reserve as wildlife are totally at ease with a horse and its rider, its amazing how  much wildlife you can see when riding compared with walkers with dogs who are seen  potential by the wildlife as threats even if they are on leads. 

Rainshore parking problems 

We understand that some of the residents on the Rainshaw Estate have been having discussions  about the parking along Overtown Lane. As you will be well aware the road leads to the bridlepath  which eventually comes out at Red Lumb. RBBA request that any solutions which might be discussed  and put in place takes into consideration the needs of the Horse riding community. 

Plumpton Cottages DMMO 

RBBA is preparing an upgrade to bridleway application (DMMO) for the route going by Plumpton  Cottages in the Queens Park Road area. 44 witness statements (evidence forms) have been  collected from local riders. Thank you to all who have helped us with this. We are now at the stage  of finding out who the landowners are and preparing the evidence for submission to Rochdale  Council. 

Northdene Drive 

RBBA is trying to get Rochdale Council to let us see objections to the DMMO which was passed by  the Township over 12 months ago. Rochdale are very reluctant to allow this to happen. Pat has put  in a Freedom of Information request.

Crimble area. 

A fence has been erected along the side of bridleway 59 making it very narrow adjacent to a  steep drop. 

The fence also prevents access to a piece of open land that has been used by horse riders. 

RBBA has had an on- site meeting with Rochdale’s Rights of Way Officer, Julie Simpson, and  we are awaiting developments. 

Shawfield/Willowmead gates

Various people have reported problems with the gates on the Shawfield to Willowmead bridleway.  The Willowmead gate is bad. This has been reported to Julie Simpson and she is getting contractors  in.  

Furbarn Lane 

Gill rang Julie Simpson about this DMMO and has been told that Julie has spent many hours trying to  decipher the evidence and does not know when this DMMO will be brought before Township  Committee

Rossendale 

Spring Mill, Whitworth 

RBBA attended an on-site meeting between local residents and the developers of the site, Gleesons.  We raised the matter of the alternative bridleway which should be put in place to replace the  present route which goes through the middle of the building site.  

RBBA asked for 3 things 

that this bridleway is in place before development starts 

the route is definitive, not permissive 

horse stiles are placed at all access points to deter off-roaders. 

To back up these requests an e-mail stating these points was sent to the Case Officer at Rossendale  Planning. 

BW 114 

Proposed new  

bridleway 

Current route 

Mary Towneley Loop – 

green line 

The red line marks the boundary of the development area. 

Bury 

Simister Island improvement scheme

Mode Hill Lane 

Cowl Gate  

Farm 

Egypt Lane

RBBA has asked if a multi-user link between Mode Hill Lane and Egypt Lane could be provided as  part of the scheme . Probably a big ask, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get! 

Haweswater Aqueduct 

The pipe bringing water to Greater Manchester from Haweswater in the Lake District is in need of  refurbishment. The pipeline comes through our area between Walmersley and Birtle and routes  used by horse riders will be used for all the contract vehicles to access the work areas. Estimates are  for 6 to 8 HGVs per hour. 

Mine grouting is a means of stabilising the land before tunnelling is done for the pipeline. 

chicken  

farm 

sillinghurst

The arrows show routes used extensively by horse riders. 

    

RBBA has taken part in the public consultation by video call and have highlighted the potential  problems for horse riders that may arise because of the increase in heavy vehicles in these areas. We  have suggested a traffic free day on Sundays. We were told that UU will put in a new access route  from Castle Hill Road to the work area just north of Woodgate Hill Reservoir so that most of Castle  Hill Road will be free of HGVs

Bradshaw Hill 

The bridleway from Castle Hill Road which approaches the bridge over the M66 on its way to  Chesham was under threat by a housing development. Access to 3 new houses was proposed across  the bridleway at the steepest part. The whole area would have been opened up to vehicular traffic,  in particular off-roaders. RBBA submitted a letter voicing concerns over the safety of horse riders  using the route and the detrimental impact on the bridleway. It seems our points were taken on  board and the application was refused. 

Extract from the decision letter. 

bridleway

The pictures show how this bridleway looked several years ago after having been repaired and what  it looks like now. The state of the bridleway has deteriorated because of lack of funding 

  

Elton Reservoir 

In 2015 RBBA submitted a DMMO for a route around Elton Reservoir. In 2019 Bury Council made an  Order awarding bridleway status to this route. Unfortunately there were objections to this decision  so the matter needed to be sent to the Secretary of State (SoS) for decision. Eventually this  application was sent to the SoS in July of this year. We now have to wait for this to get to the head of  the queue for decision. That could be a few more years yet! Not a rush job this Rights of Way work.  Patience is a required characteristic. 

6 Ainsworth DMMOs 

These DMMOs are subject to a Direction Decision from the SoS. They were submitted in 2017 but  Bury Council had not got on with the job so we appealed to the SoS who thankfully told Bury Council  to get on with it. They gave them 6 months to do the job. That was in February 2020. We have been  advised to give the Council an extra 3 months because of the Covid situation. However, Bury Council  do not seem to be in a rush. Comment from the Council in September 2020- 

We work on progressing the others as and when we can given other priorities at  the moment. 

“The others” are the Ainsworth DMMOs.  

Patience wearing thin!

General  

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan 

RBBA have become aware of the possible financial consequences for equestrians who use horse  boxes of the proposed GM Clean Air Plan. It has been suggested that a levy of £10 for light horse  boxes under 3.5t and £60 for those over 3.5t per day will be charged if they are used within the  Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone. We propose to lobby to get Private HGVs removed from the  scheme.


June 2020

posted 29 Dec 2020, 07:05 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways

ROCHDALE & BURY BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION

NEWSLETTER 

JUNE 2020

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 committee has still been working hard on your behalf during the Coronavirus crisis. In May we have had a Facebook video call meeting and we also discuss matters using e-mail and phone calls. On June 24th we had a meeting in person in Val’s garden, socially distanced of course. The first time we had met for real since January.

C:\Users\david\Pictures\2020-06-26\IMG_0084.JPG

Obviously there will be no general meetings until the crisis is over, whenever that is!

Rochdale

Splash Lane

This route is still subject to an Emergency Closure Notice so no one should be using it at all. It is from Nabbs wife and then to Black Dads and Splash Lane 




Northdene Drive

An Order was made on 23 April 2020 which, if confirmed as made, will modify the Definitive Map and Statement by upgrading of Footpath RocE Fp13a to a Bridleway. The public had until 10th June 2020 to object to this Order. We have asked to see any objections.

Concessions

The locks on our Concessionary Routes around Greenbooth and Ashworth Reservoirs were changed recently. This is because we have recently been made aware of several instances of Members and Ex-Members taking Non-Members through and this is against the rules laid down by United Utilities.  If an accident should occur your insurance maybe invalidated because you are on private land without permission.


The new keys will be available from Creature Comforts in Heywood or from Barbara Brown, by prior arrangement, if you cannot get to Creature Comforts during their opening hours. You need to return the current key to obtain a new one free of charge.  If you have no key there will a £10 charge for a new one.  You also need to bring proof of up-to-date 3rd Party insurance.


If it is your first time of obtaining a key and using the routes you also need to sign a disclaimer form which sets out all the conditions of going through Greenbooth and Ashworth


Crimble Mill

In 2018 a Scoping Opinion was submitted to Rochdale Council concerning a large housing development on the fields around Crimble Lane near Heywood. RBBA sent in a letter which was included in Rochdale Council response to the Scoping Opinion.

Recently there has been activity in these fields. Investigative digging by machines has been seen and a barbed wire fence has been erected along the side of Bridleway Hey Bp59 between Crimble Mill and Mutual Street. 


       



Pat met with Julie Simpson, Rochdale Rights of Way Officer,  and it was decided then that the bridleway is wide enough with the fencing where it is, it is probably less than 2 meters in a couple of spots but only for a very short time, ( approx 2-3 horses lengths), and is perfectly rideable. However, since that meeting it has been demonstrated that the reduced width makes it difficult for riders travelling in opposite directions who meet at that point to pass each other. A rethink is therefore necessary.

Julie is going to advise the land owner that he should put the barbed wire on the other side of the post , or he may be liable for any injury it may cause and any damage to clothing. She is also going to arrange for a fence, where the track meets the stream, as it is a sheer drop of 2 -3 feet. This fence will be put in the stream so it will not reduce the Bridleway width.

         

Woodhouse Lane

 Improvements To Gate And Cattlegrid At The Top Of Woodhouse Lane

The whole installation has benefitted from the attentions of the Team from Environmental Management during lockdown and is now a much more user-friendly area for all residents and visitors. EM clearly gave some thought to the matter as the gate now features a rider-friendly catch. The provision of a properly functioning cattle grid will greatly benefit local commoners ,as their animals are less likely to escape into the traffic on Woodhouse Lane.

C:\Users\david\Downloads\IMG_3943.jpg  C:\Users\david\Downloads\IMG_3944.jpg

C:\Users\david\Downloads\IMG_3945.jpg  C:\Users\david\Downloads\IMG_3946.jpg

Bury

Progress of DMMOs in Bury

RBBA have a large number of DMMOs (Definitive Map Modification Orders – ie applications to upgrade routes to bridleways) in Bury and we asked questions as to what is happening to them during the Coronavirus crisis.

This is a reply from The Head of Engineering

It goes without saying that the current massive upheaval to working practices as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to break our stride as a Service of 30 staff let alone as a Council.  The pandemic has also brought with it issues that never existed before that needed addressing without delay.

 

Notwithstanding this, however, officers have sought to continue to process the DMMOs and progress is being made - they have NOT been paused.  The number of applications is large and we can only progress them incrementally with current resources.  However, you may be aware that we are seeking to bring in new resources to bear on our efforts but our response to the pandemic has delayed this.  As we are starting to approach an even keel, I will now endeavour to push this through.

 

I hope this gives you the assurance you are seeking.

 

Regards,

 

David Giblin

Head of Engineering

Bury Council


 The Elton Reservoir DMMO was submitted in 2015 and a bridleway Order was given early in 2019. Because objections have been sent in this application must now go to PINS (Planning Inspectorate) for decision. Bury have not yet sent it to PINS!

 6 other DMMOs  around Ainsworth  were submitted in 2017. Because Bury had not looked at them 2 years later we sent in a Direction Request to the Secretary of State asking for Bury to be told to get on with them. Earlier this year the Secretary of State gave Bury Council 6 months to decide these 6 applications.

This is a more recent reply from Bury ROW Officer.

The Elton Reservoir DMMO remains with the Authority. We have consulted with Counsel on the best way to present this to PINS and have not yet reached a conclusion. It should be noted that the Authority received a direction from PINS for six other DMMOs with a six month deadline and these have had to take priority, all within the restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A decision had been taken to acquire assistance for the Public Rights of Way Officer in carrying out all the relevant duties. This remains “on the agenda” as we hopefully progress towards more normal times.

So, progress on the Elton Reservoir DMMO is being sacrificed to meet the Direction Decision on the Ainsworth DMMOs. However, there is a prospect of more ROW staff, something we have been working towards for years.

In June the lack of progress of Bury Council in progressing our DMMOs made it to the Bury Times On-line!

Bury to Bolton railway line

RBBA has been asking for bridleway status for this route for several years but a few landowners have been resistant to allowing horse riders to use it. The route is marked by the red line on the map below.


In May 202 an article in Bury Times On-line gave us the news we had been waiting for. Click the link to read the article.

Mon, 18 May at 15:31

Bridleway is created along £650,000 Bury to Bolton railway path route











Bridleway is created along £650,000 Bury to Bolton railway path route

PROPOSALS to make part of the old railway route between Bury and Bolton into a bridleway have been given the gre...







Haweswater Aqueduct – Walmersley


Bury ROW Officer, David Chadwick, has been in a virtual meeting with United Utilities and Council colleagues regarding the Haweswater Aqueduct scheme. UU are very much aware of the affect this will have on the bridleway network in Bury (and elsewhere) and wish to engage with stakeholders. They have asked for our contact details to allow discussions to take place.


Bradshaw Hill – Chesham


There has been a planning application to build 3 houses on land opposite Bradshaw Hill Farm, affecting the bridleway that crosses the motorway bridge and connects Chesham with Birtle, going past the chicken farm at Sillinghurst. The proposals will adversely affect the narrow and steep part of the bridleway just up from the motorway bridge on the Birtle side and open up the route to through traffic. RBBA have submitted a letter pointing out that the route would become a rat-run between Chesham and Fairfield for vehicles and as all approach routes are also bridleways this would not be good for the safety of horse riders. An alternative suggestion for access for the proposed properties onto the bridleway, eliminating the need to make vast changes there, has been put forward.


Bentley Hall Road, Walshaw


RBBA has been notified that there is a problem with a landowner intimidating horse riders using Bentley Hall Road, a restricted byway. Bury Rights of Way Officer has been informed and horse riders have been encouraged to report any incidents to the police.


Walking and Cycling Routes in Rochdale and Bury


Both Bury and Rochdale have announced new walking and cycling schemes for their areas.

https://www.mynewsdesk.com/…/safe-streets-save-lives-have-y…

https://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/134631/pushing-cycling-after-covid19

RBBA have written to relevant Councillors in both districts asking that horse riders are allowed access to these routes. We are particularly concerned with routes that will result in horse riders being sandwiched between cyclists on the cycle lane to their inside and vehicular traffic on the road to their outside.


Extract from letter

Answer




March 2020

posted 28 Mar 2020, 08:00 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways


ROCHDALE & BURY BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION

NEWSLETTER

MARCH 2020

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.

 

January

Rossendale: Spodden Valley Play Area –RBBA received notification of a planning application to create a play area in the Spodden Valley at Healey Dell and were invited to comment. This application would affect The Mary Towneley Loop (Pennine Bridleway) between the NCN cycle path at Healey Dell and Whitworth Road. RBBA sent in a comment based on worries that there might be adverse conflict between the children using the play area and users of the bridleway, particularly with horse riders and cyclists. Safety of both PROW users and the children in the area was a concern. This application has since been withdrawn.

 

Rochdale: New Housing and Provision of Recreation Facilities, Consultation.

RBBA submitted a comment to this consultation.

Informal Open Space (Relevant Core strategy Policy: G6)

Informal open space is outdoor space which is suitable for active, informal recreation by people of all ages, safely accessible and available to the general public. There are many kinds of spaces and areas of different size, location and character that can come under the umbrella of informal open space, such as areas of grass, woodland or water bodies, walking / cycling routes and parks. As well as providing opportunities for informal games and passive recreation, these spaces have general amenity value and make an essential contribution to the quality and character of the urban fabric and improve quality of life, encourage biodiversity and help to tackle the effects of climate change.

Comment

We realise that the list of examples of informal open spaces given in this paragraph is just to illustrate a point, but please do not forget bridleways and other Rights of Way that are available to equestrians, such as restricted byways. We find that the informal recreation undertaken by equestrians (we call it hacking out)  is often forgotten but these PROW are essential facilities to keep horse riders off the roads and away from vehicular traffic.

As more and more developments encroach into the countryside more and more PROW will become under threat. Any development affecting bridleways and restricted byways should ensure that these PROW are accessible to horse riders and kept free from vehicular traffic. If not the developer should provide an alternative easily accessible traffic free route. Developers should also look for ways in which they can add to the traffic free routes for vulnerable road users (walkers, cyclists, horse riders, carriage drivers, mobility scooters) especially if they provide links between already existing routes that allow avoidance of roads. The off-road network available for horse riders in Rochdale is very fragmented which means riders have to use the roads to access bridleways and byways.

The Agriculture Bill

The Agriculture Bill is to replace the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) now that Brexit has happened. Farmers will receive subsidies through this scheme and not CAP in the future.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0007/20007.pdf

 

This Bill had its second reading on 16th January and is now going to the Committee stage.

Clause 1.1.(b) on page 7 states that farmers will receive public money for public goods. One of the “public goods” will be access for the public across their land.

Prior to the second reading the BHS and HAC asked people to lobby their MPs to speak up for this clause in the second reading. RBBA sent letters to both the Bury North MP, James Daly, and the Heywood and Middleton MP, Chris Clarkson asking them to support this clause. As it happens a quick read of the Hansard report of this second reading showed that no comments were made about public access.

 

February

Bury: Ainsworth DMMOs

In 2017 RBBA submitted to Bury Council 6 DMMOs for upgrades around the village of Ainsworth to the west of Bury. In 2019, because Bury Council had not even looked at these applications, RBBA sent a Direction Request to the Secretary of State asking them to direct Bury Council to get on with the job. On 5th February 2020 we received notification that a Direction Decision had been made by the SoS instructing Bury Council to process these applications within 6 months of the date of the decision ie 5th Feb.. It was stated that the reasons the Council gave, lack of resources, was not a valid reason for not processing these applications.

At the end of February, after reading in Bury Times On-line the budget proposals for Bury for the coming year which included £400,000 for a new football pitch in Radcliffe, RBBA wrote to Bury Chief Executive, Geoff Little, and the new Director of Operations, Donna Ball, asking that money be allocated to Rights of Way so that the Ainsworth applications could be processed. An encouraging reply was received from Donna Ball.

“I have met with the Rights of Way Officer and David Giblin Head of Engineering only this week to discuss the issues you have been raising.

I fully agree with you that Horse riding does of course form park of physical activity and is an equally important part of the Bury Moving Strategy to those who partake in the pastime. 

Following the update meeting I have requested that immediate support be found to speed up the process of reviewing the applications that have been submitted, I saw for myself the comprehensive piece of work that you had done and its attention to detail was admirable. 

I have asked that the additional hours that are required to processes at greater speed be found asap given the Statutory requirement  ( some training will of course be required) and I ask David Giblin (cc’d) to keep you updated on progress. 

I wish you well and hope that you are somewhat assured we are taking your concerns seriously.”

Keep your fingers crossed we see some action.

Rochdale Rights of Way

Northdene Drive – It is nearly a year since Rochdale Council awarded an Order for bridleway status along this route. RBBA has seen the paperwork associated with this Order and expect notices to be put up soon on the route informing the public of the Order. There are 14 days for anyone to make objections. 

Plumpton Cottages

Evidence forms are being collected for this route. If you have ridden the route and have not yet completed a form please contact rbbaenquiries@gmail.com

Splash Lane

The bridleway between Elbut Lane and Ashworth Road going through Nabbs Wife in the Ashworth Valley is closed. There has been subsidence on the Rochdale side of the river. Rochdale ROW put on the closure notice and are aware of the situation.

March

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak everything is on hold. All meetings and events are cancelled until further notice. If you have any bridleway concerns during this time please contact us through rbbaenquiries@gmail.com

 

At the time of writing we are still able to get out into the countryside and enjoy our horses. RBBA hope all our members stay healthy. Take care.

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