Some breaking news from PathWatch. The double double stile step problem on Holmfirth Footpath 131 has finally been resolved!
Whilst we’re not ones for fake positivity here a few cartwheels have been spun around PathWatch HQ for the end of this long saga. For 28 months the council has played a tortuous game of Twister with itself over what was a blindly obvious bit of crap that blocked the path and shouldn’t be there.
Thanks are due for the work of the frontline staff involved.
One thing we’ve noticed here at PathWatch HQ is just how smoothly things can go if frontline council staff are allowed to do their jobs. Things do go noticeably downhill when either management or (some) councillors are involved in just about anything Prow related. The temptation to do a dodgy deal or be “pragmatic” is just to much.
Ramsden Road, “Not To Standard But Acceptable”, Huddersfield Byway 231 and “The solution has no basis is law” episode are notable examples of the highly contagious management virus infecting straightforward Prow matters.
Here is a recent video posted on youtube that perhaps gives a clue as to how Ramsden Road has been wrecked
It’s easy to see how those large lakes have formed so quickly (in 18 months) on the flat section when you watch how these vehicles drive through them. Kirklees Council will be spending a significant sum of taxpayers cash (they won’t tell PathWatch how much) to “repair” these potholes in April.
How deep does Kirklees have it’s corporate neck buried in the sand? Does it really believe that simply placing and rolling in sandstone will stand up to the kind of use shown in this video?
And lets remember here the councils recently declared aim to increase walking by 20% and to ensure Kirklees is a great place to walk in. Both pledges made in the very recent Climate Emergency Plan. Ramsden Road could lead the way here if only the council meant what it says.
The route could be motor traffic free,repaired and maintained to a bridleway standard and the surrounding damaged land given a chance to recover. Instead the council is enabling 4×4’s to continue the destruction of the one part of our environment it directly controls.
Holmfirth Footpath 57 has featured on PathWatch before here and here . Following service of a s56 notice on Kirklees the route was extensively repaired in 2018. It was then allowed to become badly overgrown in the summer 0f 2019. So much so that the area repaired became invisible and unwalkable within a year of those repairs (subsequently strimmed).
As can be seen from the top photo the path has a new problem in the form of a broken culvert beneath the surface flooding the path.
What this all neatly demonstrates is the need for regular inspection and cyclic maintenance of our public rights of way.
It’s good to report that within a few days of the new water feature being reported Kirklees have done some temporary work to drain the immediate problem and a permanent repair to the culvert below is now planned.
The land beyond this gate is access land in the Peak District National Park and the public have the right to walk here. There was a proliferation of these signs in the area. Most did refer to private property but not this one. I’d only walked this way because the footpath I intended to use was blocked!
A good slice of this popular path has been washed away over the past two weekends of heavy rain. But are Ciara and Dennis really responsible?
The network of walled footpaths and bridleways in this area provided access to a number of small farms and settlements prior to the construction of Digley Dam and reservoir. At that time, some 70 odd years ago, all the tenants were evicted by the new landlord – the water board.
Had the water board, now Yorkshire Water, and possibly Kirklees Council continued to maintain the extensive network of open land drains and culverts which drained the footpaths,bridleways and adjoining land perhaps these routes would be in a better position today? Another example of not spending a penny to save a pound? Certainly another good example of how unconsolidated stone aggregate laid and rolled in on these steep upland paths is not the answer.
This limestone was thrown down by Yorkshire Water contractors and made a cosmetic difference while masking as serious underlying drainage issue which was not tackled.