In a process which has taken seven years, Oxfordshire County Council has rejected an application from the Parish Council to change the status of a footpath in the village into a bridleway.
In June 2013 the Parish Council applied to the County Council for a change of status of the footpath along Northfield Lane which leads on to the river and joins the Thames Footpath. Northfield Lane is a hard surface but at the entrance to Northfield Farm the route is grass all the way to the river.
The Parish Council wanted to change the route from a footpath into a bridleway which would have opened up the whole way for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. But following the lengthy investigation the application was refused by the county, on the grounds that there was insufficient use made of the route by thirty-three people who submitted evidence.
Opinions are divided over the change of status. Some argue that a change would give more flexibility for users, but others believe the route should remain a footpath. They say the current arrangement has worked well for years and believe that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The Parish Council will discuss the issue at its next meeting on 10th September.
Which is why it is rightly ignored, only the most pedantic would object to cyclists and horse riders using a 4m wide quiet grass track. Until a safe cycle route is provided to Clifton Hampden for kids this is the only sensible cycle route for kids, whether some council pen pushers like it or not.