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June 2020

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



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.


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


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.


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


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.




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.…/safe-streets-save-lives-have-y…

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