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Do you have any evidence of bridge use?

Times Echo and Life / All News / Do you have any evidence of bridge use?
26 days, 51 minutes ago3 Comments.
28 APR

Do you have any evidence of bridge use?

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News, Uttoxeter news

A resident is calling for any help in his bid to have a canal added to the definitive map of public rights of way. Colin Jones, who lives in Uttoxeter, has contacted the Times & Echo to ask for a call out to any readers who may wish to help with his campaign concerning the weir bridge at Crumpwood, near Alton Towers.

A resident is calling for any help in his bid to have a canal added to the definitive map of public rights of way.

Colin Jones, who lives in Uttoxeter, has contacted the Times & Echo to ask for a call out to any readers who may wish to help with his campaign concerning the weir bridge at Crumpwood, near Alton Towers.

Colin said: “The weir bridge at Crumpwood (OS Grid: SK 09310 42507) has, in two of its forms, both suspension and, on later replacement by span, been crossed in both directions by various members of the public (from ramblers and walkers to hikers, fishermen, photographers and birdwatchers), without challenge, for well in excess of 20 years.

Required by section 31 of the Highways Act of 1980 (which states that a route enjoyed by the public for 20 years or more without interruption is to be deemed to have been dedicated as a highway) making it by use a public highway/route.

Indeed the bridge has been used by the public (to access the historic and unique weir, the last of its type known in the world, and the associated grade II listed pumping house and recently installed Salmon pass), far more likely in excess of 30 years of unchallenged access, which makes it a public right of way.

As such, I am submitting a request as a claim under s. 53(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and under the provisions of section 31 of the Highways Act of 1980 to enshrine that public access in law and have the bridge added to the definitive map of public rights of way.”

Colin continued: “To do this I am tasked with proving the bridge has been used by members of the public without challenge, over 20 plus years, not a small task as I am sure you will recognise?

The last 20 years are the most important as the council expects evidence, written, and/or photographic.

I am asking people to attest that they have used the bridge and perhaps even share photographs from or on the bridge over that period.

I would welcome any help that can be given to keep access across this bridge open, and take down the gate and lock which has been placed by the new owner of the weir-keepers cottage for nearly a year now, blocking anyone but themselves from using the once publicly accessible and popular river crossing between Denstone and Alton.”

Colin further explained that he has contacted Staffordshire County Council, the authority which is responsible for thearea’s ‘Definitive Map’ and that he is in the process of applying for the route (including evidence gathering and form filling) to and over the bridge to be added to the definitive map by section 53(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and under the provisions of section 31 of the highways act of 1980 and the Highways Act 1980, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Times & Echo contacted Staffordshire County Council about Colin’s campaign to make the bridge a public right of way.

Councillor David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “Staffordshire has an incredible network of rights of way and these are particularly noteworthy where they allow access to areas of historical interest – such as Crumpwood.

As a council we are committed to maintaining a high quality network of paths across the county and will consider all applications for public rights of way.

It is always great to hear people are raising awareness of our heritage and we look forward to receiving Mr Jones application which will be considered as resources allow.”

Anyone wishing to send in any evidence of use of the Crumpwood bridge, can do so by emailing him at colinj@talktalk.net or calling him on 07947 744415.

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3 Comments

  • we were members of Uttoxeter Walking club for over 30 years and we used that bridge numerous times on our walks, If it is closed it would block off a public right of way which can be seen marked on any old maps. wish you luck in your search. yours Marj and Terry Plant
    Written by marj.terry14@gmail.com, April 29, 2022 - Reply
  • I've walked it over the last 30 years and agree, thanks very much for your comment & support, I hope I can get it re-opened! Regards Colinj
    Written by colinj@talktalk.net, April 30, 2022 - Reply
  • The bridge has no public access and was for private access to the house which is now owned by JCB. I have family members who previously lived there prior to purchase by JCB. It looks like JCB have deliberately let it go into disrepair, why would they want public cars accessing their land?
    Written by Member of public, May 4, 2022 - Reply

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