Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

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arnsider
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 2 Jul 2020, 1:04am

Riding back home from Ingleton this afternoon, I decided to go via Kirkby Lonsdale, Hutton Roof and Dalton crags.
The A 65 is an awful road to cycle on, being an HGV route linking the M6 and the Aire Valley trunk road and a race track for wretched motor cyclists.
My groups usually cross the A65 at Westhouse and take the yellow road to Burton in Lonsdale, then short of the village, we turn right, back towards the A65 , crossing again to Leck.
This afternoon, the Burton road was closed, so I continued the main road west to the Leck turning, then did the detour through the village and down to Cowan bridge. We usually cross the A65 here and drop down a half a mile or so to Overtown, then take a right, through some houses, to a little narrow bridge where you have to dismount to cross.
Up till a few months back, the road to the bridge was unmetalled, suggesting that is is unadopted. Now, it is freshly tarmaced.
A tractor and machinery is sometimes left near the personnel gate to the bridge.
This afternoon, a home made "No Cycling "sign had been posted on one of the ancient stone gate stoops.
A woman was crossing the bridge towards me and I enquired if she was local and if she knew about the sign.
The route is signed a public footpath, and has been interpreted as not meant for cycling.
The Covid 19 scare had brought a great many more cyclists than usual and the residents had issues with the shear weight of numbers.
I could appreciate this situation so I discreetly sympathised her concern.
If anyone on here uses this safe detour back to the A65, towards Whoop Hall, then please be wary of the need for wheeling the bike past these houses.
The bridge is old and narrow with stone steps up to the abutments either side and it crosses Leck Beck.

arnsider
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 2 Jul 2020, 8:04am

Does anyone know the legality of pushing a bicycle on a public footpath?
A quick peep at a walking forum shows great confusion over the issue.Can Cycling UK help us here?
I can see this becoming a contentious issue and I suspect the same or similar all over the UK.

xerxes
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Joined: 10 May 2013, 7:22pm

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby xerxes » 2 Jul 2020, 4:40pm

arnsider wrote:Does anyone know the legality of pushing a bicycle on a public footpath?

If you are walking then you are considered a pedestrian, same as if you are pushing your bike along a pavement/shopping precinct/etc.

Richard Fairhurst
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Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 2 Jul 2020, 5:14pm

The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.
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Steve
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Joined: 2 Apr 2007, 1:42pm

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby Steve » 2 Jul 2020, 8:02pm

I'm just curious about the route you describe, as I can't see where you go once on the north side of the beck, where there are then only footpaths in three directions. Is one of them rideable?

arnsider
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 3 Jul 2020, 12:09am

There is a single track metalled road that parallels the beck for some three hundred yards, then turns North West to a timber bridge crossing Eller Beck, then climbing a shallow grade to re join the A 65.
You are actually on a Roman road and you cross the A65 diagonally to continue northwards for a mile or so before taking a left down a lane and under the long disused Ingleton- Lowgill railway. It's a bit of a detour, but worth it to stay safely off the main road. You drop down Chapel house lane then down a steep, narrow bridleway to Devils bridge.(and a welcome cuppa at the bikers tea wagon).
The A65 here was awfully Spalled with big aggregate making the ride bumpy, but recently, the menders have resurfaced it.

pwa
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby pwa » 3 Jul 2020, 8:01am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.

When I was more involved with stuff like this, maybe 20 years ago (cripes!) the "received wisdom" was that bicycles did not count, so strictly speaking you ought not to be walking while pushing a bicycle on a public footpath unless you had the consent of the landowner. But as I remember it, it had not been tested in court. My own feeling is that getting off and pushing does make you a pedestrian and ought to satisfy anyone of a reasonable disposition.

arnsider
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 3 Jul 2020, 8:28am

I agree. Maybe the landowners involved would be better to place a sign asking cyclists to dismount through their ground.
But often, people are perverse, and only want to be contentious and actually revel in their ability to chastise rather than to seek accord.
It's interesting to speculate that while rural road maintenance budgets are slashed to the bone and country dwellers increasingly drive rugged 4x4 vehicles, we may see whole networks unadopted and groups enforcing tolls.

thirdcrank
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Jul 2020, 11:05am

I don't think that the people who put up home-made signs will know or care about the finer legal points, especially the difference between a public footpath and a footway.

mercalia
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Location: london South

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby mercalia » 3 Jul 2020, 11:29am

pwa wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.

When I was more involved with stuff like this, maybe 20 years ago (cripes!) the "received wisdom" was that bicycles did not count, so strictly speaking you ought not to be walking while pushing a bicycle on a public footpath unless you had the consent of the landowner. But as I remember it, it had not been tested in court. My own feeling is that getting off and pushing does make you a pedestrian and ought to satisfy anyone of a reasonable disposition.


hmm put a kiddy seat on then you have a pram :wink:

pwa
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby pwa » 3 Jul 2020, 11:44am

mercalia wrote:
pwa wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.

When I was more involved with stuff like this, maybe 20 years ago (cripes!) the "received wisdom" was that bicycles did not count, so strictly speaking you ought not to be walking while pushing a bicycle on a public footpath unless you had the consent of the landowner. But as I remember it, it had not been tested in court. My own feeling is that getting off and pushing does make you a pedestrian and ought to satisfy anyone of a reasonable disposition.


hmm put a kiddy seat on then you have a pram :wink:

And the fact is, if someone has put up a No Cycling sign and you have got off and started walking as a result, you are complying. They will be hard pressed to come up with an argument as to why you are cycling when you are, in fact, walking. The two things are not the same.

If the route is a public footpath and not a bridleway the land owner has a right to demand that you do not cycle. But if they have not requested that you do not bring a bicycle while you are walking the route, there should be no problem.

I often get off and walk for a short distance to remain legal and inoffensive while taking a short cut somewhere where cycling is not allowed.

arnsider
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 3 Jul 2020, 12:43pm

I do have a photo of the sign, but confess to being such an IT dummy that I have abandoned trying to post it here.
It actually faces cyclists who are about to squeeze thropugh a narrow pedestrian gate, then follow a very narrow muddy path no more than twenty yards to a steep and slippery flight of steps up to a narrow footbridge that you can hardly walk aside your bike, crossing.
The tantalising question is does the sign relate to the full length of the road beyond the bridge, right to where it rejoins the A65.
Anyone studying a large scale OS, say a 1;2500 or 1:10560 will see a vehicle bridge just upstream of the footbridge. This one is most definately private and serves a large house on the south bank of the Beck. The 1:25000 only shows the footbridge.
I'll try to clarify the precise stretch in question and post my findings.

arnsider
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby arnsider » 3 Jul 2020, 1:48pm

I've looked on the Lancashire County Council MARIO map site and the stretch in question is indeed partly unadopted, so there will be issues over Public access by any means, cycling or otherwise.
The right of way map only shoes a right across the footbridge (path 1-8-fp8) and on the far side (1-8-fp1) just 230 meters to a left hand bend.
So all along, We have been taking a flyer so top speak.
I am in no doubt there is a serious safety issue cycling the A65, even though the speed through Cowan Bridge is reduced.
There must be a case for a permissive cycle way if such exists.
As said, nationwide, there must be a prevalence of these pinch points, made all the more contentious by the significant upsurge of cycling during the pandemic.

Jon Lucas
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Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby Jon Lucas » 3 Jul 2020, 3:05pm

pwa wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.

When I was more involved with stuff like this, maybe 20 years ago (cripes!) the "received wisdom" was that bicycles did not count, so strictly speaking you ought not to be walking while pushing a bicycle on a public footpath unless you had the consent of the landowner. But as I remember it, it had not been tested in court. My own feeling is that getting off and pushing does make you a pedestrian and ought to satisfy anyone of a reasonable disposition.


My recollection, from a similar time to yours, is also this. But I suspect that in the very unlikely situation that something like this actually came to court, the argument would actually come down to the accesses to the footpath rather than the footpath itself (I doubt that any reasonable person could hardly justify that pushing a bike along was causing any sort of nuisance). If accesses are stiles, kissing gates or any other sort of barrier, it may well be argued that allowing provision for a bike to be pushed would be unreasonable, and that gaining access by bike could potentially cause damage. How that would fit with current disability discrimination though, I have no idea.

marquis26
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Joined: 3 Jul 2020, 3:01pm

Re: Footbridge crossing Leck Beck

Postby marquis26 » 3 Jul 2020, 3:07pm

pwa wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:The law says that, on a public footpath, you are allowed a "usual accompaniment".

The debate is whether a bike counts as a "usual accompaniment". A dog does. A pushchair does. It's not clear that a bike does. Cycling UK thinks it does, but I suspect that the wish is the father of the thought here; several highway authorities appear to think a bike doesn't count.

When I was more involved with stuff like this, maybe 20 years ago (cripes!) the "received wisdom" was that bicycles did not count, so strictly speaking you ought not to be walking while pushing a bicycle on a public footpath unless you had the consent of the landowner. But as I remember it, it had not been tested in court. My own feeling is that getting off and pushing does make you a pedestrian and ought to satisfy anyone of a reasonable disposition.


That seems ludicrous. If you can push a pushchair, or a walker, why on earth could you *not* push a bicycle...?