Mountain bikers have a problem, an image problem. While we see ourselves as a bunch of fun-loving free spirits, much of the rest of the outdoor community see us as gung-ho idiots who aren’t happy unless we’re mowing down senior citizens. Now, some of you might not give a monkey’s about having an image problem, but it’s fair to say that coming across as Attila the Hun on two wheels means that in the future we’ll have less trails to ride, not more. Confused? I’ll explain.
In September 2009 Sheffield City Council (SCC) gave a notice that they wished to close 2 of the 3 bridleways which run across the Fox Hagg nature reserve near Lodgemoor. These are shown on the map below as the paler red lines directly below the blue line by the Fox Hagg Nature Reserve signs. SCC claim that as there is the third remaining bridleway running from and to the same points that the other 2 are not needed. As part of these works SCC are trying to link the changes of 2 footpaths to permissive bridleways that run from the A57 snake pass to the corner on Lodge Lane and from the far end of the 3 bridleways mentioned above down to the bottom of Wyming Brook. Both of these upgrades have now been completed and are available for us to enjoy.
Several parties objected to the proposed closures in addition to Ride Sheffield, the CTC, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Byways and Bridleways trust all put forward cases against SCC’s request. After a review meeting with SCC about the issue and another with the CTC and CPRE we have continued with our objections and the three parties are working together as head toward a Public Enquiry on the case. We have submitted a combined objection, the Byways and Bridleways trust have also submitted and objection and all of these are now with the inspector reviewing the case. He will visit the site this month and then make his decision as to wether the bridleways can be closed by SCC or must remain. We will announce the results of the enquiry as soon as we hear them.
If you have any questions about this matter please send us an email. Going forward Ride Sheffield will continue to oppose any other closures of Bridleways in the area and will fight for and support any requests to create new ones or upgrade rights of way.