Friday, 16 May 2008

Local politics

There is a cycle route from Maidenhead to Cookham, which runs across fields along Green Way. It isn't the most glorious route in the area, but it is pleasant enough, and promises a traffic-free alternative route. Except that it suffers from one serious flaw. There are a number of gates at various points, designed to stop vehicles from using the path. Every one of them is too restrictive to get my bike through, and I have to lift it over each gate.

Until last night, I assumed this was some cock-up that nobody could afford to fix. Then I found the minutes of the last Windsor and Maidenhead Cycle Forum in January. This is a body which advises the Council and its partners on cycling matters.

It seems that the story is a little more complicated...

"MB highlighted the on-going problems with cycle access across North Town Moor. A permitted path across the Moor was secured as a condition of planning permission, with access for pedestrians and cyclists. Barriers were erected following problems with motorcycle access. These restrict access for cyclists and the disabled to the permitted path and also to a public right of way. An additional barrier has recently been installed.

The landowner has indicated that he would be prepared to fully withdraw the permitted path should the Council take enforcement action to remove the barriers on the grounds that it would allow access for unauthorised vehicles. However, a road has been constructed across the Moor to provide access to the Cricket Club somewhat negating the argument.

Several meetings have been held with the landowner to resolve the situation and the Chief Executive had promised to write to the landowner on behalf of the Council. Cllr Maxwell/ GO to review the situation with the Borough’s Legal Team and identify a way forward.

Good luck Cllr Maxwell and Gordon Oliver (GO). Tlatet is on your side, and we look forward to hearing the next installment.

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