Agenda item

Highways Act 1980 – Section 25 Proposed Public Path Dedication Agreement to create a Bridleway over The Old Tram Bridge, Avenham Park, Preston


A report was presented on the proposed creation by agreement of a publicly maintainable bridleway across the Old Tram Bridge and any replacement bridge on the same line providing access to and from Avenham Park, Preston.The length to be dedicated as bridleway was shown on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers between points U-V-W-X-Y.


It was reported that Old Tram Bridge (the Bridge) was owned by Preston City Council, having been acquired by its predecessor, Preston Corporation on 17 July 1872, when Avenham Park and Miller Park were being completed. The Bridge was currently unsafe and required demolition and replacement. It was temporarily closed by virtue of a temporary traffic regulation order.


Preston City Council had obtained funding for a scheme to deliver the demolition of the Bridge and the construction of its replacement on the same line, although at a higher level. Both Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council were keen to secure that outcome. The funding provided was allocated on the basis that the scheme did not require a Compulsory Purchase Order and access to carry out the work also relied on the county council having a power to maintain the bridleway. It was therefore proposed to enter into a public path creation agreement under Section 25 Highways Act 1980 for a new bridleway maintainable at public expense, which would formalise the public rights and maintainability of the surface.


By entering into an agreement, this would impose a statutory duty of maintenance on Lancashire County Council in relation to the surface of the bridleway carried by the present Bridge and its replacement. The main terms of this agreement were set out in the Committee report and Committee noted the right for the owner to raise the level of the highway, albeit the structure itself would remain in the ownership and responsibility of Preston City Council.


A draft agreement was being considered by Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council which dealt with all the main terms, and was only intended to be completed once funding was confirmed, and other agreements were also able to be completed. Preston City Council had confirmed that they were content with the main terms of the agreement and would work to finalise the wording.


The officer answered questions from Committee.




(i)  That the proposal to dedicate a bridleway over the Old Tram Bridge and any replacement bridge on the same line crossing the River Ribble along the approach ramp at the north end of the bridge to bottom of the ramp on the south end and down the slope towards the river, as shown on the plan attached as U-Y, be accepted on the main terms as set out in the report.


(ii)  That the Director of Environment and Planning be authorised to finalise and enter into a Public Path Creation Agreement under Section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 between Preston City Council, as the owner of the Old Tram Bridge and its replacement, and Lancashire County Council, with completion at a time and to include wording in accordance with the main terms as set out in the report to dedicate a length of bridleway marked by a bold dashed line on the attached map and annotated U-Y.


(iii)  That Committee note the recording of bridleway (BW0602072) on the Definitive Map and the making of an Order in 2003 to record bridleway rights over part of the route, but both are believed to have been in error. Officers will take any appropriate action to resolve these issues in due course.


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