by Gill Caves, Group Footpath Secretary
What we aim to do on this page is to keep you informed about issues affecting Rights of Way (public footpaths, bridleways etc) and access for walkers. This will include any path closures we are aware of and more general issues affecting the management and maintenance of the path network.
Latest footpath news January 2019 - footpath closures.
From time to time it is necessary for the Highways Authority (Gwynedd Council) to close a right of way temporarily, usually for reasons of public safety or to enable works to be carried out. Temporary closure orders are made for 6 months but the closures are often in force for a much shorter period. If the closure is required beyond 6 months then the Highways Authority (Gwynedd Council) need to make an application to the Welsh Government. During the closure period there should be notices and a map on site advising of the closure and the alternative route(s). If you want further detailed information about any of the closures please contact me.
1. Tanygrisiau Power Station, Blaenau Ffestiniog
A number of footpaths in the vicinity of the power station at Tanygrisiau are subject to temporary closures. Stretches of Footpaths numbered 4, 91 and 93 will be affected from time to time. (Footpath 4 runs alongside the lake on the NW side; footpath 93 runs WSW from the N end of the lake towards the Stwlan dam and footpath 91 follows the dam’s service road.) The closures are necessary for public safety reasons whilst works to replace cabling to the power station, which will require large trenches to be dug, are undertaken. During the periods of closure, the diversion is to utilise Footpath number 83 on the SE side of the lake. To facilitate the works, the Power Station car park will be extended for use by contractors' vehicles. The works were due to be competed by the end of 2018 but due to weather related delays the order authorising the closures has been extended for up to a further 6 months although it is hoped that the works will be completed in 3 months.
Due to tree clearance work along the A487 near Corris, there is a closure in place on Footpath no 35 between grid references SH 755060 and SH 749600 (on the hillside to the west of the A487, roughly opposite Ceinws). Due to the nature of the work being carried out in the area, there is no alternative route available.
3. Pont Figra, Llanelltyd
Heavy rain in December triggered a landslide that has caused the closure of Pont Figra, Llanelltyd. There are a number of paths in the area so alternative routes are possible and where possible some of these have been signed on site. It is not known when a repair to the bridge will be made.
Other footpath News
At a meeting on 25 June 2018 Gwynedd Councillors approved the inclusion on the definitive map of the path that runs in front of the properties at Mawddach Crescent which is located on the Fairbourne side of Barmouth Bridge. The next stage is that the Council needs to make an order and advertise it for objections. If objections are received the matter is likely to go before a Public Inquiry. Until such time as all these processes have been completed, and assuming that the the order is confirmed at any Public Inquiry that may be held, there is no 'right of way' to walk the path. Watch this space!
We hope that before the end of the financial year 2018/19 we shall be able to arrange another work party day, working alongside Gwynedd Council and their contractors. Much will depend on the weather and negotiations with the landowners. Photographs of what was achieved on the last path improvement project (gorse clearance alongside Llyn Tecwyn) are below. If you would like to help out on this next occasion or on any other workday that is arranged, please contact me. All tools are provided and you can come along for the whole day or just an hour or two.
We hope to bring you an update on Lost Ways shortly.
Reporting Rights of Way problems
We always encourage our members and other walkers to report any footpath problems that you find while out walking but you may wonder if, with Local Councils so hard pressed, reporting problems does any good. The answer is a resounding "yes", as shown by the before and after pictures below of the path above Llyn Twecwyn Isaf, which was recently cleared by our volunteers.
So carry on sending in your reports, either directly to the Local Authority (in our case Gwynedd, see their website for information and reporting forms) or via myself. You can also use the Ramblers PathWatch system - there is information on the Ramblers website about how to download and use the easy PathWatch App. But if you prefer to go out with a pen and paper in your pocket, then make a note of the location of the problem (community and grid reference) and the details of the problem itself and let me have the information on your return - my email address is at the top of the page.
Gill Caves, Footpath Secretary