Help! BOAT near me needs some serious work

tasha

i'd rather be riding.
Jul 10, 2001
4,088
0
36
Petersfield, Hants., UK
There's a BOAT (byway open to all traffic) near me that provides vital access to hacking in a bit forestry commission land. However the local 4x4 drivers have ruined part of it so it is now impassable by horses. A river crosses it, so where the 4x4s go through and hit the opoosite bank it is getting softer and softer, to the point where there is now a massive crater, filled with soft mud.

Of course the 4x4s love this, as they get stuck and have to winch themselves out. But it means that horses have to scramble up the side of the crater, as going through the mud at the bottom of it would prob be fatal, or at least cause severe distress and injury when the horse got stuck. Scrambling up is just about do-able although not v nice, but scrambling down is something I wont even try. Before it got really bad I would dismount and lead over the footbridge, but now its too narrow to get a horse safely across in hand - you'd have to go single file, and horse would probably rush and trample you.

There's also loads of overgrown branches, and there was a tree until the 4x4 that first got stuck chainsawed it out the way for me. Some a*%# has also been flytipping.

I dont mind about the 4x4s, they have every right to be there and they are quite handy for chopping up the fallen trees quicker than the council. Its the damage that has gone untreated that is getting my goat.

So, a little complaint to the council is needed. Where do I go about doing this and does anyone have any tips?

Ooh, just to add - this is probably East Hants DC land, although it may possibly cross the border in to Surrey.
 

Clava

New Member
Apr 24, 2008
5,526
0
0
On the South Downs, Hampshire
Tasha, Can I help? :)
I'm in touch with the East Hants Rights of Way Officer, is it in that area? I can pass on his email address if you like , he may be able to give you the right person to talk to? Where is this BOAT? We had the 4 x 4s banned some ten years ago (maybe 15) and now we are looking at working with the motorbikes to keep our BOATs useable. I've managed to get a promise of a days work a week for two workmen from the Council to restore our Byways (huge success)I've organised a village meeting about it in January. I'm also in touch with the Petersfield Ramblers who have interest in keeping Byways open as well as local Cyclists.

You must report the problem to the Council and there is a website which I will dig out for you (have to find it, Liz 1949 gave it to me), it sounds like the BOAT is blocked by this mud, the Council has an obligation to maintain surfaces and remove blockages.

Contact Liz1949 - she's wonderfully helpful.
 
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Liz1949

New Member
May 16, 2008
408
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I don't wish to be a wet blanket, but I am afraid that you might well need to do rather more than just a post on clearthattrail in order to get the BOAT accessible once more. Clearthattrail is merely an initiative taken by the Cyclists Touring Club to aid in the fight of keeping paths and trails in usable condition.

PM me if you need details of effective further action to take.
 

Clava

New Member
Apr 24, 2008
5,526
0
0
On the South Downs, Hampshire
I don't wish to be a wet blanket, but I am afraid that you might well need to do rather more than just a post on clearthattrail in order to get the BOAT accessible once more. Clearthattrail is merely an initiative taken by the Cyclists Touring Club to aid in the fight of keeping paths and trails in usable condition.

PM me if you need details of effective further action to take.

Totally agree, you need to have the attitude of a terrier!
 

lachlanandmarcu

New Member
Apr 14, 2007
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if the site is wide enough, maybe it would be poss for the council to put some massive boulders near one side in a line across so that the horses and walkers etc can cross in an unspoiled part while the 4x4s still have their fun on the other side of the boulders if you get me?
 

Clava

New Member
Apr 24, 2008
5,526
0
0
On the South Downs, Hampshire
if the site is wide enough, maybe it would be poss for the council to put some massive boulders near one side in a line across so that the horses and walkers etc can cross in an unspoiled part while the 4x4s still have their fun on the other side of the boulders if you get me?

Sadly the politics of it means that simple solutions are not easily adopted. You need to find out the status of the BOAT, if anyone else has concerns and the Council's view, there may be a solution for everyone. Check out a website called http://www.gleam-uk.org/, the founder is also very helpful if he can be.
 

Liz1949

New Member
May 16, 2008
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I did wonder :) Further info for reporting it greatly appreciated :)

The information and pro-forma letters that I have are far too lengthy to post here!

If you pm me with an email addy I will happily send the info to you.

I will soon be putting them on my website, and then I can simply link to them - but I've had a few problems with my website recently so want to check that is all sorted out before I simply post a link!
 

Clava

New Member
Apr 24, 2008
5,526
0
0
On the South Downs, Hampshire
I did wonder :) Further info for reporting it greatly appreciated :)

Phone the Council, they have an answering service (mine do) and note down your problem. Make a note of the reference you will be given. TBH this feels pointless when you do it as I never had a reply from them.

Next go to your Council website and start emailing people directly or phone up and speak to the Rights Of Way officer directly, perserve until you speak to someone or get an email answer. PM me for East Hants email addresses which may help.

Also write to them formally, Liz1949 has a standard letter template which is a very helpful starting place.

Good luck.:)
 
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Liz1949

New Member
May 16, 2008
408
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0
if the site is wide enough, maybe it would be poss for the council to put some massive boulders near one side in a line across so that the horses and walkers etc can cross in an unspoiled part while the 4x4s still have their fun on the other side of the boulders if you get me?

Anything is possible - and many things might seem to be perfectly reasonable and good ideas to the normal folk of these fair lands - but they are not necessarily (a) legal or (b) the sort of thing that a council would think is a good idea.

Dividing a BOAT in the manner suggested could not, I believe, be done legally - free passage along the full width of the 'carriageway' is supposedly required between the outer boundaries of the track.

Many tracks, of course, are not wide enough to permit any sensible, safe or comfortable division in the manner you suggest, and it would in any case take a change in the law to permit this on a public right of way - although permissive 'rail trails' and the like are often constructed with two or three different 'sections' for different classes of non-motorised user.

However, you know, and I know, that on byways, deep puddles, mud, brambly tangles, broken fences, lumps of old iron, piles of rubble, dead trees etc etc conspire all too often to effectively prevent the use of the full width of the path or track, to whoever is trying to use it, thus concentrating any damage caused by over-use or inappropriate use on the one narrow passageway. Doing something constructive - legal or otherwise! - about the matter, however, in a manner that accommodates legitimate users, seems to be beyond the wit of most local authorities.

It is a hard enough job coercing, persuading, pressuring and campaigning to get many councils to fulfil their minimum legal responsibilities with regard to public rights of way; getting them to look outside the square and do more than the barest minimum would be as likely as training to be a poultry dentist.
 
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