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 Obstructions

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Gully across r.byway nr Clapton-o-t-Hill Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:53
The restricted byway KSH 1 was obstructed by a deep, deliberately-dug gully, with a tiny lip at one end so walkers could squeeze round it, if they didn't mind brushing through the hedge. Some ridden horses might jump the gully, but the recreational rider hacking out should never be expected to have to jump anything on a bridleway or byway, and this is on the route of the Sabrina Way, the county's only named equestrian route. The PRoW Officer said the landowner had done this to prevent illegal access by motor vehicles. He agreed to require the landowner to fill this illegal obstruction.

Newland - foundrous unsealed road Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 15:32
Congratulations! to the rider who achieved, after over four years of trying, to persuade Gloucestershire Highways to drain and resurface an unsealed road, which provided a valuable link onto the bridleway network, but had become foundrous. This achievement is surely much appreciated by all the local riders, and a number of walkers too.

Blocked byways, Steanbridge/Painswick Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:47
Mid Cotswolds Tracks and Trails Group flagged up an obstructed restricted byway, MPA 57, which at two points has stiles as the only crossing of field boundaries. These obstructions may have been reported to the PRoW team 6 or 7 years ago, when the track's status changed from RUPP (covered by Highways) to r.byway (covered by PRoW). A site visit & walkover proved that the linking r. byway MPA 140, is similarly obstructed. Believing there to be no local carriage drivers, BHS Glos has pledged some of the profits from the last two years' events towards opening up these two byways to riders.

Obstructive parking, Wyck Rissington Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:34
A rider has reported ongoing problems of vehicles parking in a layby across the access onto bridleway HWR 12, and hence blocking it. For riders in this village, which is not well-served with equestrian routes, this bridleway offers an important link to the better provision across the A424. The PRoW Officer has promised to install bollards to keep the access clear of parked vehicles.

Difficult & dangerous gate, Westonbirt Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:25
The gate off the A 433 onto restricted byway NWL 19 has been a problem for a long time, slightly improved with a new hinge a few years ago, but subsequently dropped further, became overgrown, and is too close to the busy A road. Grateful thanks are due to the Mid Cotswold Tracks and Trails Group, who donated funding towards a replacement gate, inset from the road. At the same time, the PRoW Officer also had the linking bridleway NBL7 drained and resurfaced.

Wire, Climperwell Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:17
Access onto the bridleway BBR4 was obstructed at its Climperwell end by a spiral wire stretched between two new posts. Wire should never be used across an equestrian route. The PRoW Officer was informed of this illegal obstruction, went to have a look, and reported back that he'd left a couple of messages asking the landowner to phone him back, but he hadn't.Fortunately, it is possible for walkers and riders to squeeze around the outside of one of the posts.More recently, the wire is still there, but looped up to the closed end post, rather than stretched across the access.

Narrow gate, Sapperton Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 13:10
For a number of years, what is now the bridleway BSA 28 was a permissive alternative to the definitive route, which passed through the adjacent five or six small fields. It was officially diverted onto the present route in about 2002, but the narrow gate near the Sapperton end was not replaced (should be 5' between gateposts.) It was becoming more and more difficult to negotiate on horseback, due to the bridleway being enclosure being completed, the overgrowth, and the ground erosion. After a site meeting, the landowner agreed the gate was now redundant, and had it removed.

Foundrous b/way, Highnam/Churcham Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 12:37
Foundrous surface, Highnam/Churcham bridleway. The PRoW Officer has agreed to install drainage, and improve the surface at the north end of the bridleway DCH 60 becomes DCH 7 becomes GRU14.

Steps, Wotton bridleway Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 11:18
A rider newly-returned to Wotton-u-Edge complained about the steps on CWE 27. It's part of the Cotswold Way, with steps installed to benefit walkers. The lowest four were of pedestrian dimensions (quite high and close together) with badly eroded treads. An eventer or hunter-trialler might have jumped up them, but recreational riders hacking out should never be expected to have to jump something on a bridleway or byway.At a site meeting, the PRoW Officer and the Cotswold Way National Trail Officer agreed that these steps would be demolished, and rebuilt to appropriate dimensions.

Padlocked barriers Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 10:48
A query was received from a carriage driver who wanted to use a particular restricted byway, but both ends of it had been obstructed by barriers which were padlocked. Both barriers were installed such that there was a narrow gap next to one upright, so walkers, cyclists and horseriders could bypass the barrier to access the track.It transpired that the GCC PRoW dept had sanctioned the barriers and padlocks to prevent illegal vehicular use and fly tipping; and both PRoW and the landowner had keys. The PRoW Officer agreed to provide the carriage driver with keys for the padlocks.

Overgrowth Submitted by: bhsglos 03 10 2013 10:39
A rider asked for help with a badly overgrown bridleway, which is near a housing estate and had been popular with local walkers too. Overgrowth from the side, and low branches, are the responsibility of the adjacent landowner(s) and Parish Councils have the power (but not the duty) to ask landowners to keep all highways, including rights of way, clear. It was suggested that she might try contacting the P C in the first instance, pointing out that the bridleway had been quite well used before becoming obstructed - she later reported that the P C had arranged to have it cleared.

Northleach/Eastington Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:40
A gate on public bridleway KNE 16 had been hung so it opened uphill, such that when the gate was opened as far as possible, the gap was so narrow, it was impossible to get a horse through, even if the rider dismounted and untacked.With the help of the Parish Council, we tracked down the tenant farmer, who very kindly had his lads rehang the gate so it opened downhill, they also did some clearance along the bridleway, and replaced a 'dismount and wrestle' gate on a nearby bridleway. Thankyou!

Eastleach impassable bridleway Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:33
We asked for help with an impassable bridleway, KEA 2, north of Eastleach Downs Farm. It looked as if it was once a road, as it's just possible to see the enclosing walls, and estimate it's about 20' wide, but it was badly overgrown, including with blackthorn. Even if a rider dismounted, it would be impossible to get a horse along it, because in some places a walker had to go on hands and knees to get under the overgrowth! It's been cleared - we aren't sure if by GCC PRoW contractors or by Cotswold Wardens, but we're very grateful!

Eastleach gated bridleway bridge Submitted by: bhsglos 17 08 2013 19:26
We've reported the gated and stepped bridleway bridge on public bridleway KEA 6 north of Eastleach as an obstruction, as it's impossible to negotiate without dismounting. The concrete steps are of pedestrian dimension; a rider can't reach the latch without dismounting, as the steps are in the way; the bridge is too narrow to offer manouevring room, but the gates are not two-way opening; the latch - apart from being broken - is of a design intended for pedestrian gates, not bridleway gates. The bridge should be approached through a gated 10' box and up a ramp.

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