People power wins path fight

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PRESSURE from hundreds of people for a new bridleway is to pay off with Sheffield Council set to approve an order to create the route.

The pathway will be created through Beeley Wood with an expansion of an existing footpath into a three-metre wide track, with a two metre wide verge.

Sheffield Council said the scheme has been developed after officers received a petition signed by 450 people.

It requested the footpath be ‘upgraded to a bridleway for use by cyclists, wheelchair users and horse riders’.

The council said it has tried to contact all six landowners along the route, three of whom have been supportive.

It has been unable to trace two landowners and another has not responded, meaning a legal order is required to create the path.

Meanwhile, the council is also having to approve a legal order to create a section of bridleway linking existing routes in the Blackburn Valley.

It follows lack of agreement between the council and landowner over the section of disused railway earmarked for the route, between Butterthwaite Lane and Loicher Lane bridges.

The landowner was in favour of only a one-and-a-half metre wide footpath, which the council says is ‘inadequate’.

Sheffield Council says the bridleway in Blackburn Valley is necessary to provide an alternative route between Wincobank and Ecclesfield to the main road which is viewed as ‘intimidating and dangerous’ for cyclists and pedestrians.

Legal orders to create the two new bridleways are set to be approved at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board on Tuesday.