Thursday, 30 October 2014

Are these footpaths just footpaths... or a bridleways... what's your view?

Have a look at this map - it highlights three footpaths FP8 in Frodsham and FP33 and FP19 in Kingsley.

Footpath FP8 starts, as you can see on the map, at Ellis Lane.  It runs almost parallel to the River Weaver and then the Weaver Navigation - approximately a fields width from the water before joining the road that runs to Catton Hall.   Here the route is designated FP33 Kingsley.  At Catton Hall the path, now designated FP19 Kingsley turns sharply south and runs ultimately to Pike Lane.

In 1999 and in 2004 the old County Council received applications suggesting that this route should either be a Bridleway - in other words a route that can be used by horse riders and cyclists, or a byway open to all traffic (otherwise known somewhat confusingly as a BOAT).  A BOAT can be used by walkers, riders (horse and cyclists) as well as by motorised or non motorised vehicles.

Seemingly these applications were not determined - and so CWaC now has to consider them and determine them.  This is a formal legal process - and one that requires the assessment of evidence.  The council will have to determine whether there are public rights to use these footpaths as bridleways or BOATs.

Keep your eyes peeled for formal rounds of consultation.  This is one of those issues where many people will have lots of opinions....

Opinions are interesting - but the council will be looking for evidence - how have these paths been used and for how long.  If this is something you know about or if it that interests you - make sure you have your say.