Jeff Stubbs writes:
NANTWICH Civic Society members have been
concerned about the poor state of Monk's Lane for a long time. The lane
is such a cherished historic pathway, with its
own special character.
We cannot think of it being left to go to rack and ruin.
As Chairman, I entered into a
succession of e-mails with the Cheshire East Highways Department.,
ending with the latest information from them that "Monks
Lane is not an adopted highway. It is a footway that leads from South
Crofts to Churchyardside."
The information goes on: "Adopted
highways are maintainable at the public expense, they are constructed
and maintained to a specification issued by the Highway Authority. Unadopted
highways are where people have the right to pass and re-pass, and has to
only be to a standard that is passable (Highways Act 1980)."
The unusual block paviours
(right and below) are
loose in many sections now, so it won't be long before someone picks a
few up and throws them around, revealing lovely muddy holes for people
to trip over.
surface is getting more dangerous by the week.
been corresponding with Amy Rushton, Public Rights of Way Manager of
Cheshire East Council, who told me: "The route was never made-up to
an adoptable standard by Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council,
thus it was never legally adopted and thus not maintained by Area
She added that she had discovered that "Direct Services at CNBC used
to maintain the route though there was never any dedicated budget
had also been informed that the land was not owned by Cheshire East
Council and said she would find out if it was registered as a
landowner "has legal responsibility for the route."
earlier correspondence, Amy told me "the Public Rights of Way Team
maintains only those public rights of way which are recorded on the
Statement. Furthermore, of these recorded routes we do not maintain
the urban surfaced ones. Maintenance responsibilities for these fall
to the relevant Area Highways Team."
She also told me: "Monk's
Lane is not a recorded public right of way, but it is clearly an
urban surfaced route which I would have expected the Area Highways
Team to maintain."
I first contacted
Cheshire East Council in early January asking them to inspect
the surface of Monk's Lane and carry out repairs to the block paviours which were wobbly and not flush.
I said they were
something of a danger, especially to old and infirm people, many of
whom use it to walk into town.
Monk's Lane is an urban
footpath and had been a public footpath for
centuries. There is a "No Cycling" sign at the Churchyardside end which is an
indication of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council's jurisdiction over
the lane. The paviours are old and must be retained and
re-used at all costs.
The lane is in the Conservation Area and
flanked by listed buildings.
I wonder if any
visitors to "A Dabber's Nantwich" website can shed any light on
whether the council is correct in disclaiming their
responsibility of maintaining the surface of Monks lane?
several weeks, the lane was unpleasant to walk along as the
starlings that invaded the town recently seem to have roosted in
some of the trees in adjacent Dysart Buildings, leaving an
unpleasant carpet of stinking bird droppings. They appear to
have moved on and the lane is returning to its normal
UPDATE 2017: Since this item
was written the lane's surface has been relaid several times
giving it a much better appearance and making it safer.