Saturday, July 28, 2007

Access Denied to Newport Residents

Newport residents have been denied motor vehicle access to the road linking Thimble Hall Lane and Canal Side West by two large new gates installed by the Hull and District Angler’s Association, who claim to own the road. Conversely the residents of Newport who have used the road for over 20 years claim that the road is a public highway.

Clearly the gates have been installed against the wishes of many Newport residents, local horse riders, and certainly against the wishes of Newport Parish Council who are fighting to have the gates removed. I fully support the residents and the Parish Council, it is clearly not acceptable and the gates should be removed at once.

If the Hull and District Angler’s Association (who I’m led to believe do own the adjacent pond) had wanted to ingratiate themselves to local residents then this heavy handed approach is surely the last thing to embark upon.

The road was originally constructed as an access road during the construction of the M62 and runs alongside. If we were to see a repeat of last week’s accident with an HGV crashing off the motorway along this section, I would not like to think that the emergency services were prevented from reaching a victim because of these gates. Therefore it is essential the gates be removed even if the Angler’s Association are subsequently proven to own the road.
I've been asked to add the following press release to this post - Paul Robinson 30/July/2007
Anglers no longer welcome in Newport as angry residents are “Locked Out” of part of their own village.

The villagers of Newport are up in arms over the blocking of one of their village roads by Kevin Clifford, President of the Hull and District Anglers Association. Two large metal gates have been ‘unlawfully’ erected and locked across the road that runs between Thimblehall Lane and Canal Side West. The gates at both ends prevent anyone from using the road that has been in Public daily use for over 20 years. Signs on the gates declare it is a Private Road and that there is “No Unauthorised Access”. Local horse riders and even motorised scooters, used by some of Newport’s disabled residents, cannot get through the narrow gap that has been left.

A local resident commented, “Anglers seeking peace and tranquillity have been coming to Newport over many years for the excellent fishing in and around the village. They have always been welcome but that has now changed. By erecting these locked gates Mr Clifford (who lives nearby) has provoked a great deal of anger and hostility towards the Anglers and made them and the HDAA very unwelcome here.”

The boundary of the HDAA Motorway Pond can be clearly seen to the right of the road.

A spokesperson for Newport Parish Council said, “We have been negotiating with Mr Clifford for some time regarding the state of this road and this provocative action came out of the blue. This has incensed local residents who no longer have access to part of their village! Mr Clifford has made some speculative claims to own the road but has never been able to produce any evidence, despite several requests.”

An Extraordinary Meeting of Newport Parish Council was held last week in response to angry demands from villagers, to decide what action would be taken in regarding this unauthorised road closure. One of those actions was to refer the matter to East Riding Of Yorkshire Council’s Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee”.

The road runs alongside the M62 and was originally built under an Act of Parliament during the construction of the M62 in the early 1970’s to allow access for residents and contractors but despite the fact that the road is listed by the Highways Agency and East Riding of Yorkshire Council (USRN 45911086) both deny any responsibility for maintaining it. It seems that this tactic of denying responsibility (“we can’t find the records”) is happening across the region as more authorities seek to cut costs on even the most basic maintenance of roads.

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