Calls to remove fences blocking public footpath at Market Weighton

Walkers are calling on East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) to remove two barriers that have been blocking a footpath between Market Weighton to Goodmanham.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 8:20 am
Some boards have been removed from one of the fences.

The route, which was the subject of a Modification Order establishing it as a definitive public footpath, has been blocked by two wooden fences.

Andrew Frankland-Barber, at Market Weighton Walkers are Welcome, said some action should be taken to remove the barriers.

He said: “We are hoping that the situation will be resolved with common sense rather than enforcement. Somebody needs to be seen taking action.

The second fence along the bank.

“Some people in the town are getting vexxed about the fencing and think the fences should have been removed already. The longer this drags on the more people will be irritated by the situation.

“The last order to deal with the fence was in April so we thought the ERYC was on the case. Last time I visited there was a couple of boards off one fence but the other fence is fully complete. It’s a bit of a scramble to get up the back and around this fence.

“Since the railway track bed was ripped up in the middle 1960s people have been using the route as a footpath to go from Market Weighton to Goodmanham on onwards.

“The footpath was established by 20 years’ of continuous use and went all the way to the Planning Inspectorate, who after various appeals confirmed it is to be regarded a public footpath.”

Cllr Stephen King, an elected representative of the Town Council on the Market Weighton Walkers are Welcome Committee, has written to the ERYC.

Cllr King said: “On Sunday last my wife and I, together with four other independent couples, attempted to walk the footpath from the town towards Goodmanham and to ascertain if the path was blocked.

“Unfortunately we found that there were still formidable barriers to access.

“The first barrier was one of the substantial wooden fences from which two or three vertical boards had been removed but the horizontal cross-members were still in place.

“This necessitated scrambling beneath and through the structure which proved difficult and almost impossible for the elderly and infirm.

“The second barrier was also a substantial wooden fence which was totally blocking the footpath. The only way to bypass this fence was to scramble up and down the slippery bank at one end of the fence.

“The ERYC has a responsibility to maintain free and safe access along public footpaths within its area not only for walkers but also for prams, pushchair or wheelchairs

“It must take action to have the obstructions removed as soon as possible.”

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said : “This is a new route, created after 20 years’ usage by the public, and confirmed by the Planning Inspectorate.

“The final advertisement period is underway and completes in early June.

“During this time, anyone who believes that the case has not been dealt with correctly, up to the point of confirmation, can take the issue to the High Court.

“At that point, we are hopeful that the route should be open. A reminder letter to the landowner has already gone out to arrange works to remove the fencing.”