Railway track is blocked by fence

The fence across the old railway track at Goodmanham.
The fence across the old railway track at Goodmanham.

A fence placed across a disused railway track is causing some consternation for local dog walkers and ramblers.

The obstruction on the old railway track at Goodmanham cuts through the thoroughfare, creating a barrier to walkers.

However, the track, which has been used by walkers for many years, is not classed as a right of way so the owner of the land is totally within their rights to erect the fence.

A campaign is now underway to find evidence of the track’s use going back at least 20 years so the route can be classed as a right of way.

Tony Corrigan of Pocklington Ramblers said: “As with other walking groups and local residents we were taken aback when this much used path was blocked off by a huge fence.

“Used for decades by locals and organisations to walk 
between Market Weighton and Goodmanham, it avoids going on roads and provides a useful loop link onto the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

“It is believed anti-social behaviour was one reason for the action taken. In such circumstances we understand the upset experienced by those whose home is close to the line.

“It’s regrettable that this has necessitated such a popular path being closed and we are hoping the land owners might reconsider their action.

“Ramblers are liaising with residents to consider what 
options are available.”

Dave Battams, of Weighton Walkers, said: “I have used the path many times in the past and it is very useful, but it is not an actual right of way.

“It’s been in use a long time but I understand there’s been some anti-social behaviour around that area.

“A lot of the villagers are not happy with the fence but the owners are in their rights.”

Councillor Mike Stathers, who represents the Wolds Weighton Ward on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This situation is currently being reviewed by our officers at County Hall but surprisingly this is not recorded as a public right of way.

“When the railway line ceased to operate the land was sold off to private buyers and therefore it would appear that the owner of this stretch of line is within his or her rights to erect the fence.

“Having said that it’s a great shame that this barrier, if allowed to stay in place, will affect the enjoyment of many walkers and cyclists who have used this route for many years.”

A East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesman said: “It is our understanding that residents have decided that they wish to make a claim for the route to be added to the definitive map through an application to the council under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“They are currently gathering evidence from users that the route has been used for 20+ years prior to the fence being erected.”

Goodmanham Parish Council offered no comment when asked about the fence.