Mick Barnbrook’s attention being
diverted to other things I didn’t think there had been much progress with
the case of Bexley’s illegally closed bridleway. The last I heard was that he
made a formal complaint in January against Mike Frizoni who sanctioned the law breaking on
the authority of Sergeant Alison Bateman
and had had no reply
However it seems that others have been bolder.
As I am not sure that the author would be happy to see their letter here, I’ll just mention that they went to the top in the shape of a formal complaint against Chief Executive Will Tuckley. He is accused of willfully disregarding Section 130 of the Highways Act 1980 and a failure to use Sections 143 and 149.
Various precedents are quoted together with judges’ unequivocal pronouncements. The most recent is the 2010 judgment of Lord Cranston who said…
“The public is entitled to use and to enjoy everything which is in law part of a public footpath. The statute allowed gates over public highways, but only for the pupose of restricting animal movements, and it was not open to the authority to permit a gate for other reasons, any structure erected within the legal extent of the way, and which prevents public passage or the enjoyment of amenity rights over the area of its footprint, significantly interferes with the exercise of public rights of way, Highway authorities which refuse to take action to secure the removal of such structures may be subject to an order under Section 130B of the Highway Act.”
It remains to be seen in which direction Bexley council will wriggle next.