The longstanding dry stone wall obstruction on Holmfirth Footpath 135 has been removed. This path has been blocked for donkeys years and it is very pleasing to see it open. Just needs a sign on on Intake Lane.
I only walked this path a couple of days ago and all was good. However the wind & rain of Thursday night/Friday morning has brought 2 huge beech trees down and left them hanging over this popular bridleway. The trees are at the Blake Lee Lane, Marsden end of the path.
It’s an odd situation as a line of beeches is growing on top of a high drystone retaining wall. They are now left hanging over the path,partly in the river and partly on top of the wall. They could of course move again or the wall may come down as well.
It had to happen and today is the day! A bad day at PathWatch HQ.
Unfortunately the only news from the world of Kirklees Public Rights Of Way today is good news. Two issues have come in which have mildly rocked the normally robust PathWatch cynicism.
Firstly a long standing matter which has been subject to the usual managerial errors and evasion seems to be going very much in the right direction at last. It’s not a perfect solution but a good score draw away from home with something of an injury time equaliser feel about it. More on this at a later date when it is fully resolved but thanks to the efforts of frontline Kirklees staff for their recent work on this.
Secondly a resounding and public thank you to Councillor Paul Davies who less than 4 weeks ago received a request for a number of Holme Valley paths to be strimmed. Five of the 7 paths have been cleared already! This is incredibly positive,encouraging and will be appreciated by many 🙂
It’ll be ploughed out,cropped and knackered for another 10 months in a few weeks so I’m making the most of it. What should be a pleasant little link route is to all intents and purposes a part time path. The views are stunning from the path itself (see below).
And the path links to other routes on Hullock Bank and Scaly Gate to complete a nice little circular walk.
The other side to a walk in this area is the gauntlet of obstacles in your way.
Like the vegetation….
And gates that don’t open and shouldn’t be there…
None of these problems are at all expensive to fix. A modest amount of gumption and a strimmer would easily rectify them and make Footpath 135 the attractive walk it should be.
In a shock move Kirklees Ramblers have donated a number of public footpaths to local mountain bikers. The startling donation comes ahead of the British Cycling campaign to take over footpaths throughout England in a wave of lycra and funny helmets.
Local rambler and stalwart member of Peak & Southern Footpaths Society, Benny Rothmans told PathWatch “It’s a no brainer really. You can’t walk down any of these paths so the mountain bikers are welcome to them. I spent a lot of time hanging round the bike sheds when I was young with a lass called Nora . Closest I ever got to cycling”.
Benny very kindly provided PathWatch with some photos of the donated public footpaths. “I think they are what they call technical” said Benny.
In the long hot summer of 2018 we managed to get Holmfirth Footpath 135 strimmed. A year on it’s as bad as ever and looking pretty abandoned. The path was also cropped until recently and has those lovely “Dogs Running Free” signs we all like to see when out walking
Regular readers will recall PathWatch inquiries via the Freedom of Information Act here into how a Council decision to put an Environmental Traffic Regulation order banning 4×4’s from Ramsden Road was overturned in December 2018. The result of this decision is that any works carried out to repair Ramsden Road will be instantly vulnerable to damage by motor vehicles. The Council identified 4×4 damage as a problem as far back as 2004 and of course spent £10k and all of 2018 securing an ETRO in order to protect proposed works from 4×4 damage. It’s abrupt change of mind never made any sense.
When asked how the decision was made to abandon the ETRO Kirklees stated that “The decision was based on a visual assessment of the road and discussion with colleagues and the Peak Park on the most equitable way forward.” No dates, names, new evidence on the effect of 4×4’s or outline of the process were provided. Presumably whoever wrote that is an up and coming comedian or an expert in evasion?
After an unseemly delay the Council’s Head Of Legal Services has completed a review and in respect of the answer above says –
However, my conclusion is that the council’s response to item 3 in your request – “please also provide information which shows who at Kirklees Council took the decision not to proceed with the ETRO on Ramsden Road and the reason behind this decision:-“ does not fully comply with the requirements of the Act and Regulations. I have therefore decided that this matter should be referred back to the relevant service and that you should be provided with further information as to who took the decision not to proceed with the ETRO and, if the council holds further information on this point, additional information has to be reasoning behind the decision.
I therefore partially uphold your request for a review. I have referred this matter back to the council’s Information Governance Team with a request that they reconsider the matter and that supplementary information (if any) is provided to you as soon as reasonably practicable.
Of course there are a number of caveats as to why the Council may not have to provide this information but we will wait and see. More on this in due course.
As ever with our hapless Council there is a rich irony here. The Head of Legal Services undertook the review and of course it was the errors made by legal services in the drafting of the ETRO which set off this unfortunate chain of events.