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Cinder Path

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Oops, I've realised that you meant why was the cindertrack blocked - the reason for my right of way application and then appeal ...

My understanding is that Railtrack and their tenant who uses the railway sidings land there feel that it is dangerous for pedestrians to use the narrow access lane to the sidings yard when heavy stone lorries thunder up and down there and I imagine that they simply saw it as a risk they don't need to take if they just block it to pedestrians.

I've received an email from the Planning Inspector which confirms the appeal has been part allowed.

Cutting to the chase, the inspector has told Wiltshire Council to issue an Order within 12 months (longer than normal due to Covid-19) to make the part of the cinder track that is blocked and the lane between the station car park and the blocked part all a right of way on the Definitive Map (which records the right of ways).

Unfortunately, this would not necessarily be the end of this as we expect Network Rail to then object again and set off more complex legal argument etc etc ...

Surely the correct thing for Network Rail to do here isn't to close a RoW as they have made it dangerous, but to solve the danger problem? Build a dedicated footway separated form the lorries, for example.

Allowing a closure just sets a bad precedent. Don't like the footpath across your land, simple, build an archery range over it and claim it is dangerous. Its good to se Wiltshire council making the correct decision, but really, what took it so long and why are Network Rail even allowed to get away with this crap in the first place?

Wiltshire Council's rights of way team and relevant directors originally declined the application by me for a right of way claim even though I had provided 13 witness statements confirming use of the blocked track / lane during the 20 years prior to the 2016 blockage.

I appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the appeal decision, after a long delay, has gone against the council with the Inspector telling WC to make an Order which starts the process for creating the new right of way.

My legal adviser, Francis Morland, thinks it will all get legally complicated as soon as the Order is made as Network Rail will probably object and start a legal row ...

I've received a letter from the Definitive Maps and Highways Records Manager at Wiltshire Council confirming that the council has now issued an Order to add a length of the cinder track as a Right of Way to the Definitive Map in accordance with the Inspector's decision.

The Order will be advertised on site and in the Warminster Journal in the week ending 07 August 2020.

This Order is a modification to Westbury Path No. 15.

Basically, this path runs alongside the railway from Penleigh Farm to a sharp corner roughly north west of the pedestrian railway crossing off Oldfield Road. The cinder track that was closed off in early 2017 runs from this corner going north and then becomes a tarmacked lane which then runs through to the station car park.

The new right of way is this length of track from the "corner" (Point A on the map in the Order) all along the cinder track north and along the tarmac "sidings yard" road and also all along the rest of the road up to a point in Railway Approach Road  just outside the station main entrance (Point B on the map in the Order).

Obviously, Network Rail is not going to let this slip by without comment or, more lilely, a fierce response and objection .... which will put the whole matter into a legal process to resolve the issue ...


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