Filthy bridleway

slowster
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by slowster »

drossall wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 10:50pm There has to be some respect for property rights as well as respect for the public's rights of way. The whole system generally collapses if anyone tries to claim one set of rights to the exclusion of others.
If Benny Rothman had taken that view, it is unlikely that the public would have even the limited rights of way it does today.

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drossall
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by drossall »

I didn't know his name, though I grew up singing the Manchester Rambler. I notice that Wikipedia says that a side-effect of the trespass was the production of the first version of the Countryside Code (which covers respect for property).

I'd always perceived the mass trespass as a controlled and managed event. Some involved of course may have favoured a free-for-all. I'm far too young to have been there, so who knows.
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RickH
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by RickH »

I don't know about elsewhere but locally (& beyond) I've found very few reasonably broad footpaths that don't have recent mountain bike tyre tracks. I must admit that I have become more "flexible" in my old age & will use decent tracks without gates or stiles that aren't bridleways. On occasion I'll even lift my bike over a gate.

There is a footpath I used to use when I first started riding an MTB in the 1980s when I thought less about the designation of the path & whether I was "allowed" to ride on it. It is an old miners track on the east side of Winter Hill.

I eventually decided to largely avoid riding on footpaths.

Looking at Strava segments recently I noticed that there are 4000 people recorded as riding down that path & 2000 recorded as riding up. A quick look through some of the data shows rides going back to at least 2012.
Going down
Going down
Going up
Going up
There are other segments locally on public footpath routes also with 1000+ records.

It does rather make a mockery of the distinction between footpaths & other rights of way with regards to riding a bike on them.
Former member of the Cult of the Polystyrene Head Carbuncle.
Pete Owens
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by Pete Owens »

Not really.

What you are describing probably already IS a bridleway (by virtue of the habitual use recorded on Strava), It is just that the local authority have not yet got round to classifying it as such. They are unlikely to unless a local mountain biker approaches them an requests a reclassification, or the landowner attempts to obstruct cyclists, and the cyclists are motivated to enforce their right in the courts (as in the case in the Lake District referred to upthread).

In terms of establishing rights of way, mountain bikers are pretty much where ramblers were in the 1950s. While we now take them for granted, many footpaths were established back then by the RA fighting legal battles and collecting evidence of use of the routes. Back then mountain biking wasn't a thing, and it was only fairly recently that cyclists became designated users of bridleways, pretty much as an afterthought. However, the sort of things that horse riders might use do not necessarily correspond well to useful routes for cyclists, and many routes designated as public footpaths do. One advantage cyclists have is that many cyclists record and publish their routes on Strava and the like - so it is much easier to collect evidence of continuous habitual usage - Whereas the ramblers of the last century had to find ancient locals to give evidence that they walked a path decades earlier.
pwa
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by pwa »

Pete Owens wrote: 1 Apr 2024, 11:23pm Not really.

What you are describing probably already IS a bridleway (by virtue of the habitual use recorded on Strava), It is just that the local authority have not yet got round to classifying it as such. They are unlikely to unless a local mountain biker approaches them an requests a reclassification, or the landowner attempts to obstruct cyclists, and the cyclists are motivated to enforce their right in the courts (as in the case in the Lake District referred to upthread).

In terms of establishing rights of way, mountain bikers are pretty much where ramblers were in the 1950s. While we now take them for granted, many footpaths were established back then by the RA fighting legal battles and collecting evidence of use of the routes. Back then mountain biking wasn't a thing, and it was only fairly recently that cyclists became designated users of bridleways, pretty much as an afterthought. However, the sort of things that horse riders might use do not necessarily correspond well to useful routes for cyclists, and many routes designated as public footpaths do. One advantage cyclists have is that many cyclists record and publish their routes on Strava and the like - so it is much easier to collect evidence of continuous habitual usage - Whereas the ramblers of the last century had to find ancient locals to give evidence that they walked a path decades earlier.
There is so much that could be done with Rights of Way and countryside access in general, for all user groups, if funding were made available for it. Ever since they were formalised after WW2, PROWs have been a beautiful but flawed entity, with quirky and irrational aspects messing up what could be and sometimes is a great part of our national life. If each region had the funding to do it, and the law directed that it should happen, it would be great if each path (in a loose use of the term) could be re-assessed for its potential. But as things are right now, on PROWs in my own area, spending is very low.

Only last week I went out with the dog and tried a couple of Public Footpaths on forestry land owned by Natural Resources Wales, and found them passable only if one is willing to push through dense bramble and wade through streams, which in the case of one of them I did, carrying the whippet on the worst bits. One of those Public Footpaths clearly had been a track for vehicle use in the past and could easily be made do-able for off-road cycling if the will and the money were there. But at a time when public spending is being squeezed like never before, I can't see much being done anytime soon...
Pete Owens
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Re: Filthy bridleway

Post by Pete Owens »

Again, you are confusing access rights with usable infrastructure. The two concepts are different.

There are rights of way up Lake District summits, across high mountain passes, and moors and other wild places that have no path or track or followable line on the ground. And nor would it be desirable to create tracks across these places. It is important that we have the right to go there to explore these places without the need to pave them.
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