HIMOR have relented and agreed that Birch Road shall be a permissive route, but this obviously is a temporary fix. So the meeting in Sale will almost certainly still go ahead (it isn't specifically a Carrington Parish Council meeting but we're showing support anyway).
As the decision to maintain a permissive route can be rescinded, this needs to be sorted out permanently, so I think that changes to Trafford's definitive map will be on the agenda.
There is a meeting at Coppice library, Sale on weds 8th February at 7.30 regarding Himors closure of paths over the Moss.
Hopefully, Edward 50 years from now people will still be using it thanks to the efforts of some of the people on here and around the local area.
Fifty years ago my friends and I used to cycle that way to Dunham Park. Isherwood Road did not exist then, the road was a continuation of Ackers Lane.
Went over the Moss today. Some signs near Firs wood on the Trans Pennine have disappeared. Security still handing out notices.
Contact Carrington Parish Council to submit your details and any evidence of use. They're helping co-ordinate the effort.
Right now, we're waiting to hear back from HIMOR regarding the meeting we had with them on 23 January. But the plan is to apply to add Birch Road to the definitive map, and then to add more routes around the moss to that same map. This could take a long time though.
As for the 20 years thing, the barriers on Birch Road were added just as Manchester United's training ground was built, around January 2000. So we're looking for evidence of use in the 20 year period or more before that barrier went up. I personally have never seen signs around the other routes over the moss, so I think it'll be difficult for anyone to argue against those being added to the definitive map.
Having researched the history of this area, including studying old estate maps held in archives, it's my opinion that Birch Road, Ashton Road and all the connected paths are unrecorded rights of way. Certainly Birch and Ashton roads predate the area's purchase by Manchester Corporation and to all intents and purposes, Shell UK never seem to have bothered doing anything with the land, letting people come and go as they pleased for all the time they owned it. Shell's inaction (or ignorance of the law) seems to suggest that they were happy for these routes to become rights of way.
As for Birch Road, I have been ignoring the signs. Pretty much everyone is.
I have used this path for many years, I used to horse ride along it, cycled, walked and jogged along it. I also reguarly use Ashton Road, which crosses it. This leads to the Trans pennine route and is also covered with numerous threatening signs to keep trespassers off.
I am happy to provide my details to prove regular use over the years, we just somehow need to coordinate this.
These routes need to be made into public footpaths/bridleways because they are by there useage public routes.
No they arent' meaningless. Because they allow the landowner to show that they ATTEMPTED to restrict access, therefore the "20 years coninuous access" period is broken.
They dont have to turn anyone away or prosecute to achieve that, they just have to be able to demonstrate that they made some effort to do so.
So the paths need to be entered onto the definitive map now, or they can never be in the future because HIMOR has a defence against any application to have them declared rights of way.
The long term plan I'm sure will be to build on this land, there is no other reason to buy the land, the income from farming will be small. SO if people want to stop that, then now is the time to act.
Trespassers can't be prosecuted, trespass is a civil offence where to prosecute is a criminal procedure, if the signs really do say this then they are meaningless.
There is only one solution to this issue, and that is to apply to have the various tracks on the Moss added to the definitive map as public bridle paths.
The process is simple but needs to be done. It goes roughly like this:
Because there has been 20+ years of uninterupted access, the paths are now rights of way and can be made official via a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO). It is free to do this, just need some forms and evidence statements from people vouching for 20 years access.
Because HIMOR have put signs up and handed letters out, this counts as an attempt to stop access. it doesnt matter if they enforce it, it still means the unresticted access period is now broken. This means the DMMO orders now MUST be applied for or they can not be applied for in the future.
Unless this is done then access may be lost permanantly in the future. It matters not what is discussed at a meeting with them or what they prmoise or claim, what matters is the process and rules of the DMMO.
What it needs is all normal paths (Ashton Road, Birch Road etc.) converting to rights of way. This includes the Utd Road, which has been used by horses etc .for years
The Ramblers association would probably do this, its the sort of thing they are very good at. But they need to be informed and help requested.
Dont be fooled by claims that this is about anti-social behaviour. Its more likely to be about long term development and building on the Moss. The Signs do not restrict activity, they say "Do Not Enter, Trespassers will be prosecuted." Uconditional. They know what they are trying to do, but instead of leaving the status quo they will end up with rights of way declared.....if someone will take up the batton and do the paperwork.
Lots of info about it here...
Reply posted by Ivor... dated:24 january 2017.
E-MAIL from david harrison TC highway infomation officer.
Isherwood road from the main road to the electricity sub station is a adopted highway. From that point to nursery farm is restricted byway (carrington22). Fromthere through the barrier to the south west corner of MUFC training ground birch road is not on our definitive map and statement however it may be a unrecorded public right of way. From the south west corner of the MUFC training ground to the disused railway line birch road is a restricted byway(altrincham 9).
We had a constructive and useful meeting with HIMOR on Monday. I think all parties have some legitimate concerns, HIMOR included. It wouldn't be appropriate to comment on what was discussed at the meeting but we're still working on a solution and I'll post any updates I can provide here.
A lot of signs have gone up recently on the moss but they're mostly reminding people that the land is private. If you follow the public rights of way (from an OS map), or even just the green signs that accompany those rights of way, you're fine. And the Utd security staff are only reminding people that the road is private, they're not stopping anyone using it. I've heard that a member of the public spat at a security guard just recently, which is disgusting. They're not responsible for this.
Thanks for the update and facebook feed. Good to see so many people fighting this route.
I have emailed Martin Hampar today to pass on my history of the usage down this route.
Seems like your email to messenger has done its job.. Hopefully it will go into the next paper copy to, this may spread the word to teh wider audiance of Urmston, Flixton and Davyhulme etc.
Thaks for your assistance
The Facebook thread is here:
I've been through all the OS maps I can find here:
It appears as though the current situation exists because the two sections that are rights of way, on Isherwood Road to the barrier and from Sinderland Road to Birch Moss Covert, were highways or footpaths back before the moss was drained and converted to farmland. On the oldest map, they end at the moss, just where they do now. The first route across the Moss was a tramway that followed the route of what is now the private road.
I did have half a mind to see if I could find a copy of whatever sale documents were agreed between Manchester Corporation and whoever they sold it to (Manchester Corporation built the tramways and dumped nightsoil and rubbish onto the Moss). Those might be available in archives, somewhere.
There's an interesting post on Facebook by one member, Carrington Parish Council have taken an active interest in this and are willing to spearhead whatever measures are required to sort the situation out. He has also spoken to HIMOR and heard their side of the story, which is pretty much exactly what you'd expect (health and safety etc). I've invited the person who revealed this to post here too. I don't think it's my place to copy and paste his comment here, but trust me, this route isn't being lost without a fight.
Lots of interesting information Brian, thanks very much. Yes its a shame the route that crosses the Himor land further up Birch road is not in better condition, as not all cycles will be able to cope with the terrain. But interesting is that they may consider improving the route, and I hope they do. When one of the security guards last week mentioned Himor will be gating this route, but not looking me in the eye when he did so. Just thought at the time he is just saying this as he seemed a bit annoyed I knew about this route.
Glad the new barriers our to moved to the new positions as gives me better access to the public footbath just before the current barrier. Also they have not got their own with the position of the barriers, which I am sure will annoy them !
I finally got through to someone at HIMOR on Friday. Spoke to Matt Whitely who seemed to have been given the job of receiving phone calls on the subject. Their position is on the lines of:
- Restriction required to stop fly tipping (I don't see why locked gates with walkways round cannot be used)
- Safety on the concrete road and around the entrance to the training ground due to 'fans'. (Solution more difficult here but building a decent footpath alongside the concrete road might help)
- It is ours and there is no right of way from where the access to the horse riding centre/footpath heading west through to Birchmoss Covert.
He did say United and HIMOR are considering spending money improving the section of TransPennine Trail which crosses HIMOR land. This route is in poor condition and not pleasant to cycle. No indication when and for me the route is useless.
It appears HIMOR have issued these notes without discussion with the Council. He was vague about implication of the Recreational Route, and kept referring back to Rights of Way when I referred to the Council map of routes - google 'illustrative composite map south trafford', also the Transport for Gr. Mcr Cycle Map.
As mentioned in other posts below, the planning application supporting statement clearly says installation of the Gate Barriers and Buildings will not impact the Recreational Route '...integrity of the Recreational Route will not change, if anything enhanced and made safer.' The planning application is still in progress and I understand from the Council that barrier locations have been moved. At Isherwood Rd it would be where the current barrier is, and at the south end it sounded like it would be at Birchmoss Covert. Got the impression this was so the barriers bracket the section of Birch Road that HIMOR believe there is no Right of Way.
The Council officer dealing with the application was Victoria Ward but from Monday the officer will be Jeff Davis. I have sent a note to the Council asking them to clarify the Right of Way on Birch Rd and the status of the Recreational Route.
I have written to local councillors on the subject and I urge everyone to do the same. HIMOR's main aim is to build houses and light industry in and around Carrington and through the Future Carrington brand try to demonstrate how this development is serving the community. Restricting access onto the Moss and the convenient transit route of Birch Rd doesn't serve us.
I have started to trawl through the HIMOR planning application for Carrington 88439/HYB/16. Lots of good words on provision of cycling provision. In the Travel Plan pdf 1543 it identifies there are existing cycle routes from Isherwood Road on Birch Road to the south and the plan has a map showing the same. So at a top level HIMOR are pushing their eco/community friendly approach but when it comes to detail it doesn't seem to apply.
If it proves there is no Right of Way, and the Recreational Route existed assuming (???) HIMOR's cooperation (now withdrawn) a possible course of action might be to establish a Right of Way through established usage. I don't know the criteria used, I believe the Rambler's Association is knowledgeable on the subject.
I understand the issuing out of the HIMOR note was on the Urmston Facebook page ?? Don't understand Facebook but if a link between this thread and Facebook could be posted this might get the issue out to a wider forum.
I have spoken with the council, they have received a great many complaints. The lady I chatted to sounded as though she'd dealt with nothing else for the last few days.
She's sending me a pack with regards to making all of Birch Road a public right of way. Currently, the right of way exists up to the northern gate. The concrete road beyond the gate is not a right of way. Once the concrete road ends, the right of way begins again, all the way up to Sinderland Road.
I gather I'm not the only one interested in such an application, but when I get it I'll read through it and see what's what. I'll do this on Facebook. From people I've spoken to there, there's been at least 40 years of uninterrupted access to that route.
If you want to see where the current rights of way are, go onto Bing Maps. Find the road, then on the top right (you'll have to do this on a desktop computer) click the ROAD button and select the Ordnance Survey map option. Green dotted and dashed lines are rights of way (they're red if you zoom out).
Thanks for the posts all, its good to know people are trying to fight this, my new cycle route to work is certainly longer and more dangourous as a result..
I'm also going to write to Himor, the Planning Officer and trafford council to ask for clarification of which areas we are permitted to use and bring to their attention the wording in the planning application.
Does anybody have the Estate Managers name and contact details, not getting anywhere by Phone at the moment?
(might be worth an email to the messenger / manchester evening news if any of you have contacts)
Thanks in advance
The more noise/publicity we can generate the better the chance HIMOR will back down. Future Carrington scheme is HIMOR's scheme and blocking access to the Recreational Route goes against the concept of putting in infrastructure which is essential to support their housing schemes.
I intend to continue cycling on the route and if challenged ask the security man to provide evidence of his right to prohibite access to Birch Road.
This also ties in with the footpath on Isherwood Road not being blocked when the new security barrier goes up. The paths leeding off from the public footpath I am not sure whether they are public footpaths ? When I went down Dark Lane from the Sinderland Road entry a bit down the path there is a sign from the Himour Group, saying no vehicles beyond this point as its a private road. It looks like some of the paths are part of the Himour group then ?
I too received this today. I will be complaining to HIMOR tomorrow. I will also be voicing my objection with the council.
That route has been used for decades by local people, I think there's scope to investigate making it a right of way. Whoever wrote that letter has given no consideration to cyclists, who may now be faced with having to use Carrington Lane or Manchester Road, both of which at rush hour are absolutely awful roads to ride on.
One thing to note - there's a public right of way from Sinderland Road down Birch Road, to Birch Moss Covert (just before you get to the training ground). Nobody can stop you using that, although of course if they decide to block the road off, it leads nowhere.
I suggest people here advise anyone you know to complain to HIMOR and the council. Companies shouldn't be allowed to close off well-used routes like this. Personally, I will be ignoring their instructions. They'll have to arrest me.
I too have travelled this route for over 20 years and even before that use to go this route as children. Recieved the letter last week so after all this time an alternative route is adding 3mile each way on my daily commute by bike. Have looked on the planning potal website and seen the proposal for the too security barriers / lodges one of them on isherwood road is as far up as the electric station.!
Have a read of the supporting statment on the planning application... one point of interest ..." The road which the proposed security shelters are to be situated are allocated as Recreation Routes. As security staff already operate along this road by foot the integrity of the Recreation Route will not change, if anything it will be enhanced and made safer. The footpath is to be retained and is to remain accessible at the Isherwood Road security lodge whilst provision is made within the proposal to ensure horse access is retained at the Birch Road security lodge. No vegetation clearance is required at either location further minimising visual impacts and impacts to wildlife."
Well that recreation route has changed if they are stopping public access... from the letter recieved from Himcor "Access beyond the barrier is not permitted. No access by any means will be granted beyond this point. The road beyond this barrier is private and any unauthorised access will be treated as trespass by the landowner, HIMOR (carrington) Limited"
Doesnt seem in the spirit of the Planning Application !!
So what I am trying to say if the right side of the junction is part of the cycle network, do the Himor group have the right to gate this junction ?
The drawing of "Security Lodge 2" on the council's planning website shows metal palissade gates and fencing across the full width of the road. Cyclists are going to have come to a complete stop at both these security lodges and wait to be granted permission to continue. Not great when you're on your way to work.
Shrubb, I agree that we need clarification.
At the moment I am getting nowhere with the council when it comes to a mandatory cycle lane in Altrincham which is frequently, predictably and illegally blocked with several parked cars.
The council's staff and my councillors are simply not interested.
If the security staff on Birch Lane/Isherwood Lane did decide to bar cyclists even though they had the right of way I suspiect the council would take no action and show no interest, so it would be useful to get a council admission of that right of way to show them if this happens.
I have put in a objection as well - more of a clarification of whether cyclists, pedestrians & horse riders are to be allowed through without hindrance.
In one of the planning statements, the following is printed:
"The road which the proposed security shelters are to be situated are allocated as Recreation Routes. As security staff already operate along this road by foot the integrity of the Recreation Route will not change, if anything it will be enhanced and made safer. The footpath is to be retained and is to remain accessible at the Isherwood Road security lodge whilst provision is made within the proposal to ensure horse access is retained at the Birch Road security lodge. No vegetation clearance is required at either location further minimising visual impacts and impacts to wildlife."
I've cycled up and down there for 15 years, never had any issues other than one time when a private security firm told me I shouldn't be cycling down there (they didn't know what a bridleway was).
The Man Utd security are very friendly and extremely accommodating, I never have the slightest issue with them. They nearly always open the gates for me as I cycle through, and as I've jogged through there late in the evening they've seen me on their CCTV camera and opened the gate remotely.
With this new application I doubt much will change, they're probably doing it so their staff have somewhere more comfortable to work than a car seat (the chap near Sinderland Rd can only do that).
What's interesting though, is the Right to Roam legislation. If a right of way commonly used isn't marked on an official map, from this year onward it's possible that without action, it may be lost forever: