This lane is in a deplorable state. Landowners on either side of this lane were written to on 6th July 2016 asking them to clear their ditches by the Parish Council. One landowner has replied. We await a reply and action from the landowner on the Northern side of the lane. The local Fishing Club have asked to be involved in the planning phase of any work effecting the river.
On 15th August 2016 BPC wrote to Hampshire County Council asking for assistance by:
- erecting barriers to prevent unauthorised access from either end of the lane
- persuading the landowner on the Northern side to clear their ditches and clean the lane (or to fund the work by BPC)
- providing suitable erosion control measures in the river to minimise effects on the footbridge and associated infrastucture.
On 27 September 2016, BPC met the Northern side land agent and Hampshire County officers to discuss remedial work.
On 5 October 2016, BPC met the land agent and Bournemouth Water officers to further discuss ditch clearance. Hampshire officers were also on-site cleaning the lane. Options for declasifying the lane to a cycleway/footpath, plus suitable barriers were further discussed.
In November 2016 the lane was cleaned by Hampshire Highways and the North side ditch cleared by the landowner after BPC cut back the vegetation. The lane subsequently became flooded but has drained well as the river subsided. Efforts continue to get the lane reclassified as a cycleway/footpath, plus the use of barriers to prevent vehicles with three or more wheels using the lane.
Further fly-tipping in the lane has occurred. Meeting now arranged with Hampshire Highways in early February to pursue the process of lane reclassification. Landowners with access from the lane have been contacted requesting their feedback.
Several meetings with Hampshire Highways staff during 2017 have resulted in a reclassification project to erect barriers that could be raised and lowered by landowners and Utility staff. These barriers would allow only pedestrians, cycles and horses to pass through under normal circumstances.
A consultation period ended in July 2017. BPC now await a report from Hampshire Highways and the next steps in this reclassification project. In the mean time, vehicles continue to access the lane (and get stuck) so that the lane is almost back to the poor state that it was in in September 2016. Several requests for information updates have been sent to Hampshire Highways during September and October 2017.
The closure scheme has now been approved by Hampshire County Council. Their work is due in Spring 2018. Barriers will be installed including a central unit that can be lowered for access by those with appropriate keys. Those on foot, cycle, motor cycle, horse or invalid buggies will be able to pass through the barriers without keys. Once the barriers are in place it is planned to clear the lane and reinstate ditches.