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Author Topic: Is the footpath behind Magpie Cottages/Dale Road to Chadkirk Bridge open?  (Read 6236 times)

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CTCREP

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Regrettably my original quetion didn't appear.   Hopefully it will do so now.  The point i am trying to make is that there must have been a planned and funded cycle link between the Middlewood Way and the A6MARR forr SMBC to have put it on hold, and probsbly well in the knowledge thtat SMBC had no plan or funds for an alternative limk.

Therefore not only are they not catering for cyclists, they are also ignoring the Government's ambition to enable more people to cycle instead of using ther cars in order to reduce Pollution and Obesity. It is time SMBC recognised how the world is changing. 

CTCREP

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Hello Admin and everyone.

I see the comments are going in the direction of requiring some expert knowledge of which I have little but I do expect our Councillors to know where to look and discover what to do, or at least question what is being said. 

In a much earlier comment  to me by Admin (Reply12 he said
 “ why don't you use the system properly and ask a public question to the Committee ".

Well, when appropriate I have used the official Channels, usually with very little effect.  I bring issues, to the Marple Web Site to see if there are others equally concerned about how our borough is administered, in the hope that there are some who can bring pressure on SMBC etc  to make Stockport a better place to live in for all

  By chance on the 11th June i had sent the following question, and at the same time a similar query to Cllr Gribbon, and although it isn’t  directly about the Chadkirk Path, it shows what we are up against. See below

Unfortunately I cannot copy the reply, so I hope the pictures work. see below

SMBC say "The Cycle link between the Middlewood Way and the A6MARR has been put on hold and there are no plans or funds to create a replacement”.
  So why did SMBC stop the original plan which would have been funded within the whole scheme?  Am I the only one who questions why SMBC claims to have no money to restore the footpath alongside the river at Chadkirk, just as they did before restoring the riverside path by the Keg Pool in Etherow Country Park?   

 From what I have been told,  the Council used a Flood Repair Grant to upgrade various sections of Footpath and Bridleway in the vicinity of several houses in the Mellor and Strines area that are far from likely to be affected by flooding from the river, whereas the Chadkirk path most certsinly is affected by flooding but the fund has alreaady been used up

As some of you will know, for many years I have been requesting the upgrade of Rollins Lane - the link from the Iron bridge in Brabyns Park to Compstall road -  that would enable pedestrians and cyclists to access Marple  Station and Marple Hall school etc without being affected by mud and worse.  As with the Middlewood Way link I have been told  there is no money available, and yet SMBC are proposing to upgrade an off road route  between the Cherry Tree estate in Romiley  and Stockport which has only recently been proposed.

I do expect our Councillors to represent the views of the residents of the area and really question SMBC on how they will try to improve the area for the benefit of all. and I hope some of Marple Web Site’s users will make their voices heard officially, and pressure our Councillors not to accept SMBC"s excuses for failing to cater for all.

Condate

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As I suggested, contact the PROW officer.

There is a map on https://www.stockport.gov.uk/stockport-public-rights-of-way/prow-map  but as you say, it's the definitive map that matters.

GM

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As I suggested, contact the PROW officer.

Condate

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Presumably, all this must have been looked into before the area committee meeting. Perhaps one of the councillors can give a definitive comment on where the path is defined legally to be. I don't think there is any point debating the matter without an authoritative statement of the path's legal route.


GM

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From what I remember, its pretty difficult/impossible to remove a footpath as its very ancient legislation.
Obviously you can get them amended within reason, but its one of those subject where people avoid buying property with footpaths for that very reason.

I think the usual reasons for amendments, would be if it was a working livery with livestock and children.

You'd have to speak to the PROW officer at the council, looking at the site from an aerial view.
The PROW could reach a compromise regarding the footpath and run it along the field hedge before the property, possibly as a way to avoid legal action against the current owner.

Andy

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So it isn't a great leap to assume that landowner, who is unhappy with the right of way, has removed the sign and diverted walkers down an unsuitable substitute.

How long does this have to happen for the farmers re-route to become the defecto path and we forfeit the right to walk through the farmyard? It seems the council have conceded this by closing the path.

I can now fully understand why SMBC are not prepared to repair an unofficial footpath, what do we need to do to reinstate the official one?

Andy

GM

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I would caution a small caveat regarding the council definitive map, its not always 100% as errors do occur and landowners are unlikely to check every time its published to verify.

You would be better checking older map sources such as the link below from 1896, which I assume is "Marpledale".
Can't really argue with a map thats 125 years old.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=53.40727&lon=-2.08052&layers=6&b=1

marplerambler

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I may be wrong but I have a memory of the footpath originally being through the farm itself and the farmer was allowed to divert it to where it is now around the farm. But I could be wrong as memories from childhood are not always correct. Can anybody else back this up?
I have a copy of the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way (this is the legal document showing the line of rights of way) in Marple dated 01.08.2011. The public footpath does indeed follow the track through the farmyard and to the best of my knowledge no proposed modification order has ever been made to change the line of the public footpath: a legal requirement for a modification of the legal route if the landowner wishes to change the route is that a legal notice called a Modification Order prepared by Stockport MBC has to be displayed on site, at Marple Library and be available for inspection at Stockport MBC for six weeks (I think) prior to discussion and a decision being made by the Marple Area Councillor meeting . I have seen no notification of any such proposal since 2010. I was a trustee of the Manchester Area Ramblers Association Lockerbie Trust in the 1990s (the Lockerbie Trust paid Peak & Northern to erect the signpost directing users along the route through the farmyard). The sign was sawn off at the base by person(s) unknown and  repositioned to incorrectly indicate that the public highway passed via the land at the side and to the right of the farm entrance. Stockport MBC repositioned the sign to indicate the correct route through the farmyard but the sign vanished. Modification of the legal route to the bank to the right of the gate along the top of the river bank was totally unacceptable because of the vulnerability of this route along the bank to erosion by the river and would have been legally challenged by the Manchester Area and the Stockport Ramblers Association in the 1990s though I unable to comment about the current stance of the Ramblers. The entrance/exit to the river bank from the public footpath through Lower Dale Farm was obstructed for a while but has been free from obstruction though not signposted in recent years. The farmer did not divert the legal route path away from the farmyard - no legal application for diversion of the legal route was ever made. The farmer chose to create an alternative route across land between the farm and the river. This route did not have the legal status of  a public right of way, in 2010 it would have  the  status of a 'Concessionary path' had it been recorded as such by the landowner. I do not know if there has been a change in legal status since 2010. The important thing about a concessionary footpath is that the land owner can withdraw access without notice at any time.

the rover

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I may be wrong but I have a memory of the footpath originally being through the farm itself and the farmer was allowed to divert it to where it is now around the farm. But I could be wrong as memories from childhood are not always correct. Can anybody else back this up?

marplerambler

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Ultimately if works to solidly shore up the banking on this short section of the river somehow isn’t feasible then what needs to happen is a new route be found for the right of way, perhaps slightly further inland, obviously involving some tricky landowner discussion.

Leaving Marple with only the very steep and indirect “Alan Newton Way” path down to the Chadkirk Bridge really isn’t acceptable. Ultimately, if an upgraded path could be provided to the bridge on this side, it could form a much better Bridleway with a gentler descent/ascent. (And this was what was actually first proposed when the bridge was built.) That would seem like something well worth pushing for, rather than just allowing an important public right of way to be lost on our watch.
Wishful thinking does no-one any harm but the stark reality is that no new route for a public right of way is likely ever to be conceded by the landowner(s). There is only one way into the eastern end of Marple Dale and that is via the fields to the rear of Marple Dale Farm: Marple Dale Farm grazes its horses in the fields so it is extremely unlikely that the land owner will want his horses to be disturbed by walkers on an additional route through his field. Nor is he going to move his hedge/fence to accommodate a widening of the  existing right of way. As for a gentler descent, when the go ahead was given by Sustrans for the funding of the bridge the first route to the proposed new bridge was originally Footpath62Marple ie the track down from Dale Road. I knew the route well: it was so steep and winding I was mortified by dangers to both cyclists, walkers or any other users if this became a bridleway enabling legal usage by cyclists.. There most certainly was not a gentler descent into Marple Dale. One of the councillors at that time made a very appropriate statement that when he was young there was a notice at the top of the hill requesting that cyclists dismount to descend the hill and I can fully understand why. Bicycle design had changed considerably in the forty years to the mid-2000s: mountain bikes capable of very high speeds down steep gradients were becoming commonplace and it was feared that if the legal status of the route were to be changed to a bridleway there could be serious injuries or even fatalities. This route remains a public footpath only: property owners have a right of access by foot, bicycle, horse or motor vehicle for themselves and any visitors they permit. Access to those using it as a thoroughfare to the new footbridge is restricted to pedestrians only. Any cyclists, horse riders or users of motorised vehicles are liable to prosecution for trespass by the land owner(s) if they are not using the route for legitimate access to properties/land adjacent to the route. As for Stockport MBCs obligations with regard to the route I will quote from the walkers' 'bible' - 'Rights of Way A Guide to Law and Practice' by John Riddall and John Trevelyan which states 'A public right of way may exist along a riverbank. In such a case the highway authority is under a duty to maintain the path, if necessary by repairing the riverbank, provided that the way is publicly maintainable...If the path runs along an embankment, the embankment is repairable by the highway authority if it is part of the path but not if it is an independent construction...What if the line of the path is eroded by a river? So long as any part of the pathremains, the duty to repair continues. Once a footpath has been completely destroyed (not merely covered by water at certain times), it seems that the (local) authority may be relieved of any obligation to reinstate it'.  It would be wise to approach the Ramblers Association or Peak & Northern Footpaths Association and ask for them to instigate legal action against Stockport MBC ASAP. If the remaining section of the path is eroded away and falls into the river the route will be lost forever - there is no magic wand which will reinstate a through route over adjacent land! 

jimblob

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Remember the incredibly expensive works to shore up Dan Bank? I don’t think anyone shrugged their shoulders and suggested we just let nature take its course then.
I'm not sure this quite falls into the same category as Dan Bank (Dan Bank being the primary route in and out of Marple, even more so now that Windlehurst is a roller-coaster of speed cushions).
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens
--- Woody Allen

rsh

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What we did say was informed by some knowledge though. Nature has a way of carrying on, come what may and despite what we do. On this stretch of the river, we have had a series of floods over the years which have been eroding both banks. The path was closed off when it became too dangerous on one side. The river looks very placid and gentle normally but in flood, nature takes over and has incredible force which too many people are either ignorant or blasé about. If you were washed into the river or fell in during flood, you genuinely risk death. If you know your geography, it’s apparent the river has followed all sorts of routes across that valley and will continue to do so long after all of us today are dead and gone. From personal experience a long while ago, where I was personally involved in a project to divert a river, it is indeed hugely expensive to delay nature, let alone stop it and you can’t just shore up the stretch affected, you have to look at the whole area and understand what is determining the flows.

Definitely a good point, however having walked over the eroded section (which is actually incredibly short compared to the entire path) I don’t feel it needs to mean the entire right of way being lost. It is a right of way after all, and it’s incredibly important that it remains that way.

Remember the incredibly expensive works to shore up Dan Bank? I don’t think anyone shrugged their shoulders and suggested we just let nature take its course then. Ultimately if works to solidly shore up the banking on this short section of the river somehow isn’t feasible then what needs to happen is a new route be found for the right of way, perhaps slightly further inland, obviously involving some tricky landowner discussion.

Leaving Marple with only the very steep and indirect “Alan Newton Way” path down to the Chadkirk Bridge really isn’t acceptable. Ultimately, if an upgraded path could be provided to the bridge on this side, it could form a much better Bridleway with a gentler descent/ascent. (And this was what was actually first proposed when the bridge was built.) That would seem like something well worth pushing for, rather than just allowing an important public right of way to be lost on our watch.

Howard

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I think it was Winston Churchill who said that "Democracy is a very poor form of government...but all the others are so much worse."
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jimblob

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Thanks for the explanation.

I'm not sure ensuring people know how local democracy works is a good idea from the council's point of view. People might be surprised that it doesn't work in the way they expect it to. That's not a criticism of our councillors by the way. They work within the system as it is.
I'm not convinced the current "system" is actually democratic.
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens
--- Woody Allen