Great Harwood viaduct petition ‘likely to fail’

Great Harwood viaduct petition ‘likely to fail’

Great Harwood viaduct petition ‘likely to fail’

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

A PETITION launched to reopen a popular walking spot is likely to fail, it was claimed.

The Grade II listed Martholme Viaduct lies between Great Harwood and Read and has been closed since the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 despite a long-running campaign to see an 800 metre-long route reopened to the public.

Calls were made for the county council to throw its weight behind the campaign to reopen the 19th century viaduct, which was built to carry the Great Harwood Loop of the East Lancashire line over the River Calder, and a nearby footpath.

But while the owner of the viaduct, charity Sustrans, said it would be keen to reopen it to the public, landowners who run the nearby Heywood Bridge Caravan Park said opening a footpath there would damage their business.

Company director Richard Hanson said he did not want to create a footpath for three reasons — security, liability and because the route runs past his caravans which are used by customers as a ‘retreat’.

He said the proposed route leads straight past caravan windows, is used to transport animals and machinery, and has attracted anti-social behaviour in the past, causing concern to people staying there.

He added: “It’s not a case of us being worried about what could happen, but what has happened. A few years ago, two teenagers fell down one of the gaps on the railway. One was seriously hurt and had to be airlifted to hospital.

“They were trespassing but the landowner got a bill for £350,000.

“His insurance paid for it after a court case but you can imagine the worry.

“And two weeks ago youths smashed a window. They were chased off by one of the residents. The police advised us to keep the route closed.”

County councillor for Great Harwood, Gareth Molineux, said that the route — although used by the public — has never been a public right of way.

He said: “People had used the route previously but when it was closed off by the owners, an application was considered on whether a footpath had already been established — and if so to record it on the Definitive Map and Statement.

“This was refused in 2004. A further appeal against this decision was lodged but this was also refused in 2005.”

Coun Molineux said that the county council is keen to see the route created but could not use compulsory path creation powers because it could not afford to pay Mr Hanson compensation if it negatively affected his business.

Comments (7)

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6:17pm Tue 10 Jun 14

mavrick says...

Why not reopen the railway loop and do the job properly, I am sure MR Hanson would not object to this.
Why not reopen the railway loop and do the job properly, I am sure MR Hanson would not object to this. mavrick
  • Score: 6

7:19pm Tue 10 Jun 14

BabsInArrod says...

See the comments on the petition site:
http://www.thepetiti
onsite.com/744/618/4
97/martholme-viaduct
/

285 have signed the petition.

and

see also the Facebook page: http://www.thepetiti
onsite.com/744/618/4
97/martholme-viaduct
/
See the comments on the petition site: http://www.thepetiti onsite.com/744/618/4 97/martholme-viaduct / 285 have signed the petition. and see also the Facebook page: http://www.thepetiti onsite.com/744/618/4 97/martholme-viaduct / BabsInArrod
  • Score: 3

7:38pm Tue 10 Jun 14

BabsInArrod says...

What happened to the LCC Lancashire REMADE scheme and joining up the Padiham and Hyndburn Greenways? The NWDA and others involved in REMADE always maintained that the link would be made from Great Harwood to Read. I attended enough meetings including Lancashire Local in Hyndburn and got so many assurances from officers and elected members at the time.
What happened to the LCC Lancashire REMADE scheme and joining up the Padiham and Hyndburn Greenways? The NWDA and others involved in REMADE always maintained that the link would be made from Great Harwood to Read. I attended enough meetings including Lancashire Local in Hyndburn and got so many assurances from officers and elected members at the time. BabsInArrod
  • Score: 4

8:28pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Copperhead says...

Hanson is a scumbag and typical of the vermin who own land in the UK.
They didn't actually CREATE this land but have acquired it somehow and want to prevent everyone else form enjoying a natural resource created billions of years before they were even born.
All privately owned land should be nationalised - without compensation - so it can be enjoyed by all people, not just those lucky enough to be either born into land-ownership or to have acquired land that should never have been private in the first place.
Hanson is a scumbag and typical of the vermin who own land in the UK. They didn't actually CREATE this land but have acquired it somehow and want to prevent everyone else form enjoying a natural resource created billions of years before they were even born. All privately owned land should be nationalised - without compensation - so it can be enjoyed by all people, not just those lucky enough to be either born into land-ownership or to have acquired land that should never have been private in the first place. Copperhead
  • Score: 2

8:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

clickhere says...

@ maverick - what a good idea! I second that!
@bababsinArrod - re Mr Hansons claim that the landowner had been stiffed with a bill for £350,000 following a damaged trespasser. Do you you recall this event? I don't.. But I may have not been paying attention.
Talking to a local in Aldi the other day who claimed when Fred and Philip were lads they used to walk from their farm and across the viaduct to get to Gt Harwood to meet their mates. Sadly it seems peaceful ramblers today are not going to get the same benefit.. Shame.
@ maverick - what a good idea! I second that! @bababsinArrod - re Mr Hansons claim that the landowner had been stiffed with a bill for £350,000 following a damaged trespasser. Do you you recall this event? I don't.. But I may have not been paying attention. Talking to a local in Aldi the other day who claimed when Fred and Philip were lads they used to walk from their farm and across the viaduct to get to Gt Harwood to meet their mates. Sadly it seems peaceful ramblers today are not going to get the same benefit.. Shame. clickhere
  • Score: 5

9:33am Wed 11 Jun 14

BabsInArrod says...

LINK: http://www.lancashir
etelegraph.co.uk/new
s/769117.___More_wil
l_die____on____Devil
____bend/

You can't expect walks and cyclists to go to Read on the main road and use devils Elbow. This is far too dangerous.
LINK: http://www.lancashir etelegraph.co.uk/new s/769117.___More_wil l_die____on____Devil ____bend/ You can't expect walks and cyclists to go to Read on the main road and use devils Elbow. This is far too dangerous. BabsInArrod
  • Score: 2

9:57am Wed 11 Jun 14

BabsInArrod says...

http://www.lancashir
etelegraph.co.uk/opi
nion/3763633.Lobby_f
or_old_rail_track_to
_be_footpath/

Len Willan, Great Harwood resident and the late George Slynn a county councillor and HBC councillor campaigned long and hard for the viaduct and path to be opened. We shouldn't let them down by giving in. Would we have the recreational path at Martholme and the white path through Great Harwood if it wasn't for George and other local councillors who had vision and determination.
http://www.lancashir etelegraph.co.uk/opi nion/3763633.Lobby_f or_old_rail_track_to _be_footpath/ Len Willan, Great Harwood resident and the late George Slynn a county councillor and HBC councillor campaigned long and hard for the viaduct and path to be opened. We shouldn't let them down by giving in. Would we have the recreational path at Martholme and the white path through Great Harwood if it wasn't for George and other local councillors who had vision and determination. BabsInArrod
  • Score: 2

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