A ‘well done’ to Newcastle City Council for finally – after many years and many letters – removing the unlawful locked gate on the restricted byway at Dentmires Bridge, Gosforth.
A cynic might think that this is simply to make easier the passage of speeding bicycles along this downhill, blacktopped dragstrip, and might wonder if the structure is British Standard compliant, but hey! at least this council has done something positive here, at last. Got to be a nine from Olde Grav.
The paper ‘Notes & Materials on Maps and Other Documentary Evidence‘ has been updated on 25 February 2016 to include new judgment references regarding the ‘through route presumption’, and the ‘topography and character of roads.’
Markham Moor Inn on the Great North Road. This is the third postcard of the inn in the gallery on this website. The stretch of the GNR that runs south from Doncaster via Blyth, Retford, Markham Moor, Tuxford, and Carlton, to Newark is the early 1960s ‘improved’ GNR, almost frozen in time when the Doncaster bypass and the Elkesley link opened. Superb.
This is a press or agency photograph original of the tea van at the crossroads of the Great North Road and the Towton to Garforth Road, at Hook Moor, probably before the Aberford Bypass opened in 1963. No ghastly ‘services’ with blaring ‘music’ and ‘space invaders’.
This below is the junction in March 2016. The A1(M) is about 100 yards along the Towton road to the right (the road goes under the motorway), and the junction is slightly staggered against south-north traffic going across.
The recently deceased United States Justice Antonin Scalia, in a speech at the Juilliard School in 2005: “The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches.”
Tan Hill Inn. Always hard to date pictures … on a grey sleety day it seems never to have changed for 70 years.
29 January 2016
Inspector Michael Lowe
Tests for user evidence: calling into question.
In a brief (387-word) decision letter, Mr Lowe goes through the formalities for confirming a user-evidenced-based order to add a public footpath in Swansea. This is necessary because two objections, subsequently withdrawn, caused the order to be sent to the Welsh Ministers.
Mr Lowe finds that the council made the order on the basis of a 20-year period of user between 1991 and 2011, and recites the s.31 tests to be applied, including “… a period of 20 years ending with the date that the public use of the way was brought into question.” Mr Lowe does not state the date on which the public’s use was brought into question, although establishing this is fundamental to determining whether there is a full 20-year period established.
‘Between’ means ‘in the period separating (two points in time)’, and so “between 1991 and 2011” refers to the period midnight 31 December 1991 to midnight 31 December 2010, and that is but 19 years at most by our arithmetic. If Mr Lowe meant ‘in the period spanning 1991 and 2011’ he would have 21 years available, New Year to New Year, but the period of user during 1991, and the date of challenge (both apparently untested) would be crucial.
Readers who are avid web-surfers might think that they have seen this issue before, and they would be right. On 3 October 2015 a report on the decision letter of Inspector Mark Yates in FPS/X2600/7/106 noted that in his paragraph  Mr Yates sets out the statutory requirements for deemed dedication (emphasis added): “The relevant statutory provision, in relation to the dedication of a public right of way, is found in Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 (‘the 1980 Act’). This requires consideration of whether there has been use of a way by the public, as of right and without interruption, for a period of twenty years prior to its status being brought into question.”
S.31 of the Highways Act 1980 actually says: “Where a way over any land, other than a way of such a character that use of it by the public could not give rise at common law to any presumption of dedication, has been actually enjoyed by the public as of right and without interruption for a full period of 20 years, the way is to be deemed to have been dedicated as a highway …”
This website does not contain much that deals directly with the Scottish cattle droving trade (but see the paper on the Old Scotch Road), and that is something to be addressed in time. This postcard is postmarked 1908 and the chequer-board inn sign is still in place. The relationship between the inn / alehouse name ‘Chequers’ and the droving trade seems not to have been explained. Bonser sets it up in his ‘The Drovers‘, but Chequers as an inn / house / farm name does seem to relate to roads with an ancient origin, of the right location and character to have been used by the droving trade. Anyway, this one is up on Hambleton Street in the old North Riding, and you can find an article in Byway and Bridleway no. 3 of 1981, and a paper in the section on the Great North Road. This is the route the English army took to Flodden in 1513. Maybe there was an alehouse here even then? Why not … maybe the Earl of Surrey dropped in for a Campari and soda?