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Your help is needed to make Aldcliffe Hall Drive a Public Right of Way!

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Google aerial image of Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Lancaster (with additional labelling)
Google aerial image of Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Lancaster, with additional labelling. Click to enlarge
Author: 
Chris Satori

Do you ever walk or cycle on Aldcliffe Hall Drive - the little road that cuts off Aldcliffe Road by the canal at the Gatehouse, leads over the hill (has bollards across it halfway along) and comes out on Aldcliffe Hall Lane, which goes down to the River Lune?

Aldcliffe Hall Drive is a private road, and Aldcliffe-with-Stodday Parish Council would like to see the route designated as a 'restricted byway' which would give right of way to pedestrians, people with horses and non-motorised vehicles. They are concerned that if it is not added to Lancashire County Council's 'definitive map' of Public Rights of Way (PROWs) before this is closed in 2026 its availability could be lost in the future. 

They are looking for people who have been using this route over the last 20 years or more, to provide evidence for their application. 

Safe route

As a long-standing near resident to this route, I can confidently assert that I myself have been using it regularly for more than 30 years, as I and my family have always found it a safer and easier route to walk or cycle than the corresponding stretch of Aldcliffe Road, which is narrow and winds between high hedgerows, making passing vehicles a real and constant problem for pedestrians and cyclists.

It also avoids the top section of Aldcliffe Hall Lane, the steepest part of the narrow lane leading down to the River Lune at Aldcliffe. This is a godsend for cyclists in particular, as only the fittest (ie not me) can manage the top section where passing cars are a particular threat as the steep, narrow Lane winds uphill to join Aldcliffe Road at the top of the hill. 

Connecting the cycleways

It's an invaluable route, as it connects the Lancaster Canal cyclepath with the Bay Cycleway National Route 6, which runs with appealing charm and flatness from St George's Quay to Glasson Dock, along the south bank of the River Lune. For thousands of adults and children living south of Lancaster City centre it is the quickest, safest and, to me, the most enjoyable way to walk or cycle to the River and to Condor Green and Glasson. 

We do not know what developments the future will bring to this area. We do know that there have been several applications over recent years and it would be a great loss of local amenity if the Drive were ever to become 'gated'. Those who see their children take off on bicycles or on foot for the river (as I used to see off my nephew and his friends back in the 80s) might well have concerns if they were forced to teach them a riskier and more arduous route, and it would be a great pity if their access to the river shores and its delights were to be curtailed. 

Those of us who have enjoyed the use of this route have an opportunity to preserve it for future generations, and it would be a sad day indeed if it were to be lost to them through our neglect.

Fill in the form!

So, if you have used Aldcliffe Hall Drive over the last 20 years or more, Aldcliffe-with-Stodday Parish Council would be most grateful if you could complete a Public Right of Way User Evidence Statement form (which you can download here). It is quite a long form (11 pages) but you only need respond to questions that are relevant, with as much detail as you can muster. 

Please send your completed forms by email to Tim.Dant@gmail.com or by post to Tim Dant, Shorefield, Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Aldcliffe, Lancaster, LA1 5BG. 

The completed forms will initially be presented to the Parish Council and, if they feel there is sufficient evidence, they will be submitted together with an application for the PROW to Lancashire County Council. 

The members of the group gathering evidence for the Parish Council are Tim dant, Mollie Foxhall, Stephen Dickinson and Colin Rogers. 

 

 

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