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Bridleway closed

Reported in the Passage-Obstructed/Overgrown category by Lisa Hipgrave at 20:53, Wednesday 23 September 2020

Sent to Northamptonshire County Council less than a minute later. ref: 2309128.

This bridle way (Sh32) has been closed For over 18 years (I have reported it numerous times since 2002. I do appreciate that the bridge is ‘supposedly’ impassable but the farmer manages to drive tractors etc To the other side of the river and local horse riders would be happy to carry out fund raising in order to pay for the repairs. The argument that it is a dead end route is not really appropriate given that there are no circular routes in existence in our area and there are more horse riders moving into the area . In cosgrove alone there are 15 riders with horses without counting those who live in castlethorpe furtho etc. We are all forced onto busy roads and the speed at which drivers approach horses is dangerous and frightening. I would really appreciate the chance to speak with someone about this bridleway to get some advice on how we can move it forward.

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  • Thank you for reporting a fault. We will use the information you have provided to assess and prioritise this fault in accordance with our published response times for fault reports.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Northamptonshire County Council at 20:53, Wednesday 23 September 2020

  • Thank you for your enquiry regarding Public Bridleway SH32 in Yardley Gobion, South Northamptonshire. Our records show that SH32 has been closed in excess of 20 years. We appreciate that the bridge is impassable, even though it would appear that the farmer manages to drive agricultural machinery to the other side of the river, but it is a dead end cul-de-sac route that does not join another public highway or right of way and may have always been this way as it stops just past a woodland. In addition to this we have been informed that the landowner disputes the public access right, the location of the bridleway and has padlocked a gate near the beginning of the route.
    However, along with another legal issue in this area, our Definitive Map Team were working on a legal Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) from 2010 in order to join the route half way along SH32 to Wharf Lane in Yardley Gobion. Unfortunately this order was part of a claim of which with regret there is not enough evidence to support the DMMO.
    Northamptonshire Highways are also aware that in the past our Rights of Way Team inspected this route and reported that there is at least one structure in an extremely bad state of repair, which could be deemed as dangerous for the public to use. It would therefore be reasonable to assume that in almost 20 years any gates or other structures on the route could also require extensive maintenance work.
    Unfortunately this is a complex long standing issue where it is not clear to the local highway authority if SH32 requires expensive legal action to create an order or help with maintenance issues or if enforcement proceedings against the landowner are required to once again open the route.
    In conclusion, whilst we do understand the importance of safety for horse riders, pedestrians and all in our communities when using public rights of way, we simply do not presently have the necessary funding available to be able to do this. In the longer term, if the Parish Council of Yardley Gobion and/or locally elected Councillors for residents in the Deanshanger Ward are supportive and able to work with the local highway authority (and the future constitution of West Northamptonshire unitary council), towards both local consensus and offer the appropriate funding where it conforms to national guidance and current policy, your request could then be put into the countywide bids for ensuring access to obstructed rights of way.

    State changed to: Closed

    Posted by Northamptonshire County Council at 10:09, Monday 5 October 2020

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