Author Topic: Footpath by the railway  (Read 29538 times)

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jrhutch

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Footpath by the railway
« on: May 09, 2004, 05:00:40 pm »
Hi, new here.

Am curious who is in charge of maintaining the area around the train station -- Council, WAGN/National Rail, etc.?

This is because there is an awful amount of trash around the station; bad first impression for visitors to B-Park.  Also the footpath esp. near the station has become horribly overgrown with nettles etc.

Thanks for any info/help.   :-*
 

Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2004, 12:34:51 am »
Whoa now, don't rattle their cages too much, they seem to have forgotten about BP and if we upset them too much they'll only come back and install a parking meter in the car park.

ATG
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Offline Birch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2004, 04:35:22 pm »
It took about a year for the Welham Green rail users group to persuade WAGN to clear up round the edges of the WG station.
 

Offline Eggysheggedra

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004, 12:12:09 pm »
I recently used the footpath running along the railway line in Brookmans Park.  It's a lovely route but now very overgrown and as the path has erroded away on certain spots leaving large hollows it makes it impossible to cycle along.  This is clearly marked as a footpath with a signpost and gate in good condition at one end, so I wonder why it is not being maintained, and who would be responsible for this?
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2004, 12:23:35 pm »
Unfortunately, as it's a public footpath you're not allowed to cycle along it anyway, so I'd keep very quiet....  ;D

The county council has a responsibility to keeping paths 'free from obstruction' (See http://www.hertsdirect.org/hcc/environment/envman/row/publicrights/hcc/?view=Environment)

so they would probably be the people to talk to. I'd keep quiet about the cycling though!

Depending on where you are cycling to/from, going down Bradmore Lane and then along Swanland/Warrengate Road is a fairly quiet alternative.

James
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline Eggysheggedra

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2004, 01:08:38 pm »
Thanks for your reply.  Didn't realise about the cycling (should have known better!) - shame as it's a lovely route.  Will try the alternative ones you suggest.
 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2004, 02:07:18 pm »
I agree, the path is out of hand and needs work.  Even for foot traffic it is almost impassable.  Had posted on this earlier but was just met with fear/apathy over raising a fuss.  Glad to hear I'm not the only one who finds the path maintenance a problem.

The potholes in particular (which, probably not coincidentally, seem to correspond to the rabbit holes and tunnels along the treeline near the RVC) are a problem.  On nights, esp. in winter when it gets dark early, they are quite an obstacle course even with a light.  Were even worse when it snowed.

Can't even walk the path now without getting nettle stings.   :(

Well I'll at least phone in a complaint to the council on this.  If it's their job then it should be done right.


 

Offline NZer

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2004, 01:09:04 pm »
Does the footpath go all the way to Potters Bar?  
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2004, 01:28:56 pm »
It does... but past Hawkshead Lane it is in much better shape - largely cos I guess it is under woodland for the first part at least, so the undergrowth doesn't grow quite so rapidly. The worst section by far is the Brookmans Park Station to Hawkshead Lane (road wot RVC sits on) bit.
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline trinity

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2004, 02:01:53 am »
Quote
I agree, the path is out of hand and needs work.  


I've never found it a problem (even on the bike, though admittedly the one I use along that is "capable" of it).

So it is a bit uneven ? So what ? Walking along it at night can be made easy enough by buying a small torch. Nettles are countered easily with decent trousers and a long-sleeved shirt.

Two questions spring to mind:

1. You choose to live somewhere that is as reasonable a simulation of being "in the country" as one can get on the south-east - why complain about footpaths that are less-that-urban-levelness ?

2. How much more do you want to pay in council theft (sorry, tax), to get someone to clear away the nettles for you, given that of every extra pound a good deal more will go elsewhere than is spent on keeping this particular path nettle-free ?
 

Offline NZer

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2004, 02:55:17 am »
Thanks James - I'll give it a try when I'm over in August
 

Offline Margaret

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2004, 12:10:10 pm »
Thought we already paid council tax for this, so why shouldn't it be spent on clearing this path.
 

Offline shads

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2004, 01:59:42 pm »
as this thread is on path maintenance i want to bring up the cycle path,come pedestrian walkway on Swanland.
My son and i took a bike ride down there yesterday and were consequently whipped and attacked by brambles and stinging nettles.
It is nice to have these cycle paths but if they are going to be allowed to become totally overgrown there is little point in having them and you are therefore forced to use the roads .
This is not a one off as last year and the year before these paths became in accessible,surely the council must realise,or probably think its of so low priority that they won't bother.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2004, 02:11:15 pm »
Complain to Highways Agency about maintenance, not just here!

Government has spent a fortune on providing these cycle routes but I wonder how much they earmarked for maintenance?

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2004, 02:13:43 pm »
Quote


1. You choose to live somewhere that is as reasonable a simulation of being "in the country" as one can get on the south-east - why complain about footpaths that are less-that-urban-levelness ?

2. How much more do you want to pay in council theft (sorry, tax), to get someone to clear away the nettles for you, given that of every extra pound a good deal more will go elsewhere than is spent on keeping this particular path nettle-free ?


1. The levelness wouldn't be such a problem if the path was cleared of the choking weeds. My point is that the overall condition of the path is bad.  I've used a torch at night and it helps a bit, but my point was more that the path is getting steadily worse in condition.  A question that springs to mind is how long should an eroding footpath be left to deteriorate?  Is money best spent proactively to prevent paths from becoming unusable, or spent reactively when the situation has become much worse?  The path shows signs of past reparations; my opinion is that it's time for another round of fixing-up.

It seems to me that a forum like this is exactly the place to debate such issues, rather than remain silent.  This is particularly true if action and solutions emerge from such discussion; I'm not one to just complain just for the sake of complaining.

2. Council monies are supposed to go somewhere; it is largely up to the citizens to provide input where it should go.  I am suggesting one spot where it is needed.  Nettles aren't the only problem (and if you try trousers and jacket, you will find that nettles often still sneak their way in for a sting).  Take a walk on the footpath on a rainy morning like today and see what you think.  I think it's become overgrown past the point of ignoring it as part of normal country life.  I welcome disagreement; that's how a society should work.
 

Offline Eggysheggedra

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2004, 04:05:31 pm »
It seems as though this path hasn't been maintained for a long time as Bryan (from the bike shop) told me that a woman who used the path daily used to hire a strimmer periodically to cut the vegetation back.  I still feel some work should be done to fill in the potholes though - that wouldn't take an enormous amount of money.  A workparty of volunteers could easily do the job but surely there is some organisation responsible for it's maintenance ie. those who put up the new gates and signposts.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2004, 04:08:57 pm by Eggysheggedra »
 

Offline eric

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2004, 04:45:53 pm »
Dear Dr Snugglebunny

Intrigued that am I:  where are you going ?  coming from ?  that you use a torch along the path ?  If you're coming all the way up from Potters Bar, then impressed am I.   Or have you been visiting Friends and RelationS like them other bunnies that are snuggle-burrowing around under the path and making it slump above the Ray Brook ?  

e

 

Offline shads

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2004, 06:50:18 pm »
I have contacted the Highways agency and attach a copy of the correspondence for everyones info
Dear David,
 
Thank you for your email.
The Highways Agency is responsible for maintaining trunk roads and motorways in England and local authorities are responsible for other public roads. The local highway authority is usually the county council, but some city and borough councils do have responsibility vested in them.

Swanland Road is not a trunk road and therefore will be the responsibility of the local authority.  Hertfordshire CC are responsible for highways in Welwyn Hatfield.  You can contact them on contact on 01438 737320 / 01923 471320 (inc out of hours) or hertsdirect@hertscc.gov.uk.

If you are still unsuccessful you can contact the local government ombudsman who deal with complaints against local authorities.  The local government ombudsman can be contacted on 0845 602 1983 or visit their website www.lgo.gov.uk.

Regards

Dana Irving
Highways Agency Information Line
08457 504030

-----Original Message-----

Sent: 01 June 2004 13:36
To: ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk
Cc: yabb2_brookmans@jimney.org.uk
Subject: Cycle path and foot path maintence and repair


It appears the government has spent a fortune on cycle paths and footpaths for the use of the public,however I would like to know who is responsible for their maintenance as a cycle route on Swanland Road,North Mymms, Herts is so overgrown that it is total inaccessible,so it appears to be a complete waste of time it being there and also a walk way beside Brookmans Park Station,Herts  which leads to Potters Bar Station,Herts is also totally overgrown and in such a state of disrepair that has become hazardous to use.

Please could you advise on procedures or apply pressure to Welwyn and Hatfield council and Hertsmere council to pull their finger out,which ever is the most appropriate.

Thankyou for your help in this matter

Regards


« Last Edit: June 01, 2004, 06:51:46 pm by shads »
 

Offline john

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2004, 07:29:21 pm »
A quick note of pleasure in noting as if a group of serious volunteers are building up to supplement the proposed PEAP (see elsewhere in BPN for details)  

Excellent ! as there'll be a fair few things to do with just this one bit of path such as:

mobilising Herts County Council ...

mobilising Network Rail whose land the path runs along south from BP Station ...

and failing that:
~  finding a local insurance agent to sponsor cover for strimming, filling, etc on a public footpath on other peoples land  -  and in case someone later has an accident ...
~  sourcing a ton or so of crushed rock ... delivered down the sidetrack by the station ...paying for it ...  getting the volunteers with wheelbarrows etc to move it, spread it, compact it, prevent puddling etc over several hundred metres ...
~  repeat-trim the nettles, briars, etc ... repack patches after bikes, scramble bikes, etc  
~  manage the burrowing rabbit population or allow them free-rein to their paws ...  ?
~  finding out how many users there are ... for what purposes ... what else might be an improvement ... ?
and such like and so forth

Hope this isn't seen as a turn off:  rather it's to start seeing exactly what needs to be done and who's going to sign up to do it

By the way the gates by Hawkshead Lane were paid for by Vet College in an effort to reduce the fly-tipping, theft of old rails, car-dumping and other bits of less-than-community-minded-actvity which disappointingly occur when "access" in to an area is improved (cf  the woodland north of Cranbourne).   It was less than 4 weeks before they had to be repaired

bw  -  j
 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2004, 08:02:33 pm »
Quote
Dear Dr Snugglebunny

Intrigued that am I:  where are you going ?  coming from ?  that you use a torch along the path ?  If you're coming all the way up from Potters Bar, then impressed am I.   Or have you been visiting Friends and RelationS like them other bunnies that are snuggle-burrowing around under the path and making it slump above the Ray Brook ?  

e



It depends; sometimes I come from afar, sometimes just a short hippity hop.  I mix not with yon slumping bunnies of Ray Brook.  Nay, they be an uncouth lot!   ???   :D
 

Offline eric

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2004, 09:42:14 pm »
can't be too careful these days, Dr S      Mixing with slumping/ sleeping stranger-bunnies could be categorised as being vulnerable to mixer-commatoses ?
(ouch  sorry)
 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2004, 05:04:17 pm »
Quote
can't be too careful these days, Dr S      Mixing with slumping/ sleeping stranger-bunnies could be categorised as being vulnerable to mixer-commatoses ?
(ouch  sorry)


Quite!    :-*

For those who wish to comment to Herts County Council on the footpaths etc.:
e-mail hertsdirect@hertscc.gov.uk
or phone:
From area codes 01923 and 020(8): 01923 471321
From all other areas in Hertfordshire: 01438 737321

I'll try calling and see what the result is.
 

Offline shads

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2004, 05:11:26 pm »
as per my earlier post................... ;D
 

Offline shads

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2004, 05:26:06 pm »
Have just rung the highways dept at Welwyn and Hatfield Council and they have logged both complaints:
The footpath/cyclepath in Swanland has been logged under the Ref:1129753
And the footpath from Brookmans Park station to Potters Bar has been logged under the Ref:1129754
If any one else wants to ring i got straight through on the 01438 737320 number that i posted earlier and the woman on the other end was extremely helpful........which was nice
« Last Edit: June 03, 2004, 05:59:44 pm by shads »
 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2004, 07:22:53 pm »
Quote
Have just rung the highways dept at Welwyn and Hatfield Council and they have logged both complaints:
The footpath/cyclepath in Swanland has been logged under the Ref:1129753
And the footpath from Brookmans Park station to Potters Bar has been logged under the Ref:1129754
If any one else wants to ring i got straight through on the 01438 737320 number that i posted earlier and the woman on the other end was extremely helpful........which was nice


I had the same experience with my refs 1129751, 1129752.  However the experience was not great when I got a call back from them; I was just told that the footpath is not at all HECC's responsibility, ur rather is either the responsibility of British Rail (if on their side of the fence as it is) or the local farmer/RVC if on the other side (nope).

So I'll look up how to bug British/National Rail (shudder) and do my best to lodge a comment with them.
 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2004, 07:41:42 pm »
OK, assuming (maybe wrong) that this is National Rail's problem, there seems to be a logical (!) sequence of solutions:

1. Lodge complaint with Brookmans Park station (as I can't see any other 1 company/place that is responsible) about footpath condition. I suppose the best way is to drop by the station (open Monday-Friday 06:50-10:30) and speak to folks there, or call them.

2. Once they ignore/dismiss this (need to contact them first before this step), lodge complaint with the rail passengers council:
http://www.railpassengers.org.uk/Council/Complaints

Or other ideas?????
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2004, 09:23:39 pm »
Quote
OK, assuming (maybe wrong) that this is National Rail's problem, there seems to be a logical (!) sequence of solutions:

1. Lodge complaint with Brookmans Park station (as I can't see any other 1 company/place that is responsible) about footpath condition. I suppose the best way is to drop by the station (open Monday-Friday 06:50-10:30) and speak to folks there, or call them.


Nice try, but in this world of privatised railways it isn't always that easy. Unfortunately, the station person (who's name is Keith and is a really nice guy btw) is a WAGN employee and is as much to do with network rail as er.. well, I am really.

Network Rail's contact number is 08457 11 41 41

or their address is

Network Rail
40 Melton Street
London
NW1 2EE

which would probably prove more helpful. I have rung the contact number before about another issue and they were surprisingly helpful.

Good Luck!

James
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline john

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2004, 12:17:38 pm »
Sad so say I'm slightly heartened that everyone else is experiencing some of the problems I experience almost day in - day out with these and associated issues.    
I have complaints, warnings, etc on such points that run back months/ years ... different names ... different offices (London ... York ...) and only occasionally one comes up against someone who actually delivers action ... (even if it only sending a cheque for work that was done on behalf of the SRA after due notices over 12 months & more).    
One just shoulders on ... and on ... and on ...

best wishes  -  john f (rvc)

(& hoping this current campaign doesn't dispel any potential of the planned PEAP initiatives ... )

 

jrhutch

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2004, 12:34:35 pm »
Quote



Network Rail's contact number is 08457 11 41 41

or their address is

Network Rail
40 Melton Street
London
NW1 2EE

which would probably prove more helpful. I have rung the contact number before about another issue and they were surprisingly helpful.

Good Luck!

James


Thanks very much indeed.  I found out the same thing by e-mailing National Rail; got this response:

"Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email.

Network Rail is responsible for track infrastructure. You can call them on 08457 11 41 41.

Hope this helps.


Regards,

Customer Services Team
National Rail Enquiries Online

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk"

Then when I spoke to the station folks, they said that the footpath in fact is the property/responsibility of Welwyn-Hatfield council, not HECC or National/Network Rail etc....  

I'm inclined to believe them as they're only a few metres from the footpath and presumably have had this question before. Plus it makes more sense, as NR land seems to end at their fence (on the left side facing potters Bar), whereas the other fence (to the right) is private/RVC property.  In between those fences is the footpath, which is signposted as a public footpath and hence should be public (i.e., council, yes?) property/responsibility.

I'll try the "grass, hedges, and shrubs" report form at:
http://www.welhat.gov.uk/council/default.asp?pid=210&step=4
and see if that gets a result...

:P
 

Offline john

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Re: Footpath by the railway
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2004, 04:25:22 pm »
I think I'm content to back away from grappling with a number of aspects of the "Line Path" on the basis that others have now volunteered to assume the mantle/s ...

BUT I should perhaps point out that:
~  there are wider issues  (like the proposed "green transport " route from BP to PB ...
~  that "if you are looking towards PB..." at BP station then:
>  the post and wire fence on the left is NR's,
>  the soil of the footpath is NR's but over which there is established public right of access under HCC's obligations [nb  don't forget to distinguish between the respective "highway" obligations of HCC and WHDC, and that HCC has a WH Area Office which is not the same thing ... ]
>  the post and wire fence on the right is NR's ...
and there are thus some potential risks ...

I'll look forward to the further reports ...

good luck & best wishes -

john f (rvc)


 

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