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December 2020

posted 29 Dec 2020, 07:10 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 committee has still been working hard on your behalf during the Coronavirus  crisis.  


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?


Several gates have been causing problems 


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. 


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.



24BUR crossing  



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. 






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. 


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.