Although I was born in the East End of London I spent half my life as a country
bumpkin in Hampshire so I know what footpaths and bridleways are. Your rights to
traverse them unhindered are currently enshrined in the Countryside and Rights
of Way Act 2000. In essence walkers are guaranteed easy and unfettered access to footpaths.
The same goes for bridleways where the rights are extended to horses and their riders. There are no ifs and buts about it, a footpath or a bridleway must be permanently open for ramblers or anyone else who cares to use them in the manner intended. Any unfortunate hindrance, field ploughing etc., must be put right within 14 days. So what can possibly go wrong with that? Probably quite a lot with Bexley council in charge.
When Bridleway 250 was blocked by an elaborate electronic gate complete with CCTV coverage you might expect the council to fly into action as soon as it heard about it. Unless of course some councillor is behind it all, but as yet no evidence of that has come to light. Mind you, councillor Campbell in whose territory it is, has been very dismissive towards the complainants, in writing too. Maybe it is because they are Bonkers readers.
So the complaint went to Bexley council’s Enviro Crime Unit Manager Mrs. J Glander and after consulting or informing all sorts of people including James Brokenshire MP, Colin Campbell deputy leader of the council, Alan Downing, still mayor at the time, chief executive Will Tuckley, Mike Frizoni and assorted senior officers, Mrs. Glander came back with her reply. Bexley council was not going to do anything about the blocked bridleway.
More on this another day.