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 Post subject: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:28 am 
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Location: Suffolk
I have posted here to gain the widest possible audience.
Many of you know of Suffolk County councils imposition of a experimental TRO on U5410, Dam/Drury lane.
There is a period of six months in which to object to the order, that period expires on 3rd December.
I would like more objections please to this "experimental" TRO, as having taken advice from our rights of way experts, there is no mention in the order, of what the experiment is trying to prove.
All they have done is closed the lane for a set period. No doubt at the end of the experiment, they will declare it a success and push for a permentant closure.
Any damage on the lane clearly is not caused by motorcycle usage, that to anyone is obvious and i believe that if this is a true "experiment" then the re-intrduction of motorcycles to assertain any impact they cause is a neccessity.
Suffolk county council has previously been very amenable to motorcycles and their impact, indeed, we, the TRF, have been instrumental in maintaining access on another suffolk lane, Darney lane, which has a motorcycles exempt TRO on it. The council even carried out their own survey during that experimental TRO and found motorcycles to have no more impact than equestrian use. No surprise to any of us there.
What SCC are trying to do with Dam lane in this instance, is totally unacceptable. Dam lane is a public ROAD and as such, the highways authority has a DUTY to maintain this road for the benefit of ALL users. I haven't made this up, its written in law.
This is contained in section 130 of the Highways Act 1980, so closing this road to ALL users is unlawful.
The other point that Suffolk county council have raised is their "Local Transport Plan", which they class users by means of a "priority" system. Walkers being first, followed by cyclists, equestrians then motorists.
Their plan has more to do with exercise benefits and nothing to do with either rights of way management or more importantly, their "DUTY" to maintain public ROADS to a suitable condition for ALL users. Whilst this transport plan is very good in as much as it would in their eyes, hopefully, increase people exercising, it has no place in determining the maintainence policy, when it clearly is the DUTY of any local authority to maintain the road for ALL users.
I ask you all to please object to the email below, pointing out the lack of any experiment, without assertaining any impact motorcycles may, or may not make. That without the re-introduction of motorcycles during the "experiment", no facts can be gathered and any experiment is flawed and therefore of absolutely no use when making and rational decisions.
Also, please point out that the Highways authority has a "DUTY" to maintain this ROAD and any local policies regarding access to "Prioty mode users" are irrelivent when taken in context of their DUTY to maintain this ROAD for ALL users in accordance to the highways act 1980, section 130
emails to be sent to
heather.miller@suffolk.gov.uk
Could this please be sent to everyone on the mailing list please???
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:38 am 
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Might be worth pointing out what the High Court said about a similar 'experiment' in PDNP: Chapel Gate.

Ruled: 'irrational' and 'illegal'.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Location: Suffolk
This is my email, please feel free to use any points i raise.


I wish to formally object to the experimental TRO placed on U5410, Dam/Drury lane, Mellis.
I wish to object on two points.
Firstly, there is no experiment listed in either the order itself, or the statement of reasons for the order.
Exactly what are the experiments goals, what have you set out to prove or disprove, what is your hypothesis?
What evidence did you gather prior to the experiment, to provide you with a baseline to compare your results?
What evidence have you gathered during the first six months of the experiment?
Are you going to reintroduce certain modes of motorised vehicles, ie, motorcycles, during the experimental period to ascertain their impact, if any, on your results?
If you are not planning on reintroducing motorcycles during the experimental TRO, how can you accurately gather evidence of the impact of motorcycles, to use in your results?
If you have no evidence one way or the other that motorcycles are damaging the lane, what logical reason do you have to justify the ongoing restriction of motorcycles use?
Without this evidence, I can hardly see how this "experiment" could possibly be accurate and therefore I would dispute its validity.
Secondly, I question the weight SCC seem to be placing in your "Local Transport Plan".
During many email exchanges i have had with Mr Turner at the Highways department, this LTP keeps cropping up again and again.
Whilst it is very noble of SCC to encourage activities such as walking an cycling, it has no place in deciding the continuing strategy SCC has to maintain the rights of way network.
As you are aware, Dam/Drury lane is an unclassified county road, the U5410 and as such is the responsibility of the highway's authority. Part of the responsibility of the HA is to maintain this ROAD for ALL users. I haven't made this up, this is written in law.
Section 130 of the Highways Act 1980, clearly states that you have a DUTY to maintain this ROAD for ALL users.
You are of course as a council allowed certain POWERS, which, the implementation of your LTP is a good example of one.
You are however, once again, governed by law, how to exercise these POWERS.
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 reminds us of the following
1 A DUTY must be performed as a priority over a POWER if there is a conflict of interests
2 The RTRA contains a section, S122, that reminds the authority of its prime DUTY in section 130 HA 1980, to assert and protect the rights of the public.
That's ALL the public!!
You have a DUTY to protect the rights of ALL users of this ROAD and not to bend to the will of any locals wishing to close the ROAD, not any newly elected councillor wishing to exert her new found power, not some highways authority wishing to sneak a permanent closure through the back door by not carrying out a fair "experiment" and by doing so not maintain the lane to a condition suitable for ALL users.
I, being an active member of the TRAIL RIDERS FELLOWSHIP, a well known and respected rights of way group, have taken advice from our experts and as pointed out about, believe the council are not performing their DUTIES as laid out in HA 1980 and as such would be well within our rights to issue an order under section 56 of the HA 1980 to repair this road.
Do not think this is an idle threat, should you wish, the TRF would be happy to provide you with evidence of this previously happening.
Also, you may be interested in knowing that the TRF has taken to court, other authorities who have failed in their statutory duty to implement their legal duties.
This of course could always be avoided by the simple reintroduction of motorcycles to use this ROAD at the earliest opportunity.
I notice the order allows for it to be modified during the "experimental" period and i strongly urge the council to exercise this power.
In summary, i wish to place on record my formal objection to the experimental TRO place on Dam/Drury lane U5410 due to the following points.
1 No experiment has been mentioned in the order and there has been no mention of what you are trying to prove or disprove.
2 You are failing in your DUTY under HA 1980 to maintain the road for all users and not just those who conveniently fall within your LTP
Regards


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:15 pm 
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Hi Slowbob.
Just e-mailed my objection to Heather Miller (had her name in my address list from previous objections) I have asked her for evidence and what the experiment is?
Good luck with this one as this seems to be the way of most councils next they go for a 18 months TRO then a Permanent Closure!
Cheers Nev.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Location: Suffolk
Thank you.
I had a very interesting chat on Friday with Suffolk's glass rep. He said that all the 4x4 people who have objected have been asked by the council to reconsider their objections and withdraw them. To my knowledge, not a single request has been asked for any trail rider's to do similar. This whilst not conclusive evidence either way, points to that MAYBE, SCC are thinking of amending the order early in the new year.
Glass rep also said that a FOI request found that a total of £6530 has been spent on this lane in the past ten years, that's £653 a year! Obviously not much maintenance can be done on that trivial sum.
Also, he mentioned that the reason it was closed was due to the rutted surface being dangerous for walkers, yet at no point has this lane ever been closed to either pedestrians or equestrians. Now either it is dangerous and walkers should be restricted for their own safety or it isn't dangerous! They can't have it both ways.
I am as of yet, still waiting for a reply to my questions in my email.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Hello again, I've just sent another objection regarding some of the points you raised. Fingers crossed.....

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Just been informed by glass rep that to date, this order has received 43 objections and 107 IN SUPPORT!! :evil:
Could we please have more objections.
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:10 pm 
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It looks as if the antis are getting mobilised, unless the locals dislike us that much, which isn't likely. Mellis isn't big, much less than the TRF membership & they can get so many more objections...

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Honda CRF250X (2005) gone
KTM 690 Enduro (2010) gone
Yamaha XT 225 Serow (1992) gone
Yamaha XT600E Ethiopia-South Africa-Ethiopia 1995-96, K428OMW- I'll buy it back if it's still out there!


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:26 pm 
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I just received this:

Thank you for your message.

Mr Turner has now left the County Council but I am forwarding your queries to the current scheme manager for his attention.

Suffolk Legal was been instructed by the scheme manager to advertise the experiment with no exemptions for motor vehicles used by the general public. It is possible with experiments to amend the restriction once the surface has recovered, and continue to monitor the situation, but each case is considered individually. The scheme manager has advised that the experiment was not intended only to provide a physical comparison of the lane’s condition but also to assess whether a permanent restriction would be adhered to and to monitor the feedback from all local users before deciding on permanent measures.

After the current objection period ends on 24 November, the Rights of Way Committee of the County Council will consider in due course what recommendation to make with regard to the experiment. All objectors and supporters will be advised of the date of the meeting by the scheme manager, together with the procedure to follow if they wish to speak at the meeting.

Kind Regards

Heather Miller

Senior Legal Officer

_________________
KTM 390 Duke- back to tarmac.

Honda CRF250X (2005) gone
KTM 690 Enduro (2010) gone
Yamaha XT 225 Serow (1992) gone
Yamaha XT600E Ethiopia-South Africa-Ethiopia 1995-96, K428OMW- I'll buy it back if it's still out there!


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT Experimental TRO. Dam lane Suffolk.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Mr Turner leaving may well be a good thing. He did seem rather arrogant.
I will sent Heather Miller another email, asking when his successor will be in place.
That email still concerns me greatly as there is still the reference to "local feedback". This is a ROAD, open to the public NOT just locals!!!!


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