News - Flooding of the Footpath between Pig Shoot Lane and River Stour

NEW - 3rd July 2013 // UPDATED - 23rd July 2013

UPDATED - 23rd July 2013

E-mail from Richard Monaghan, Chairman of Sports Forum for Disabled to Councillor Ron Whittaker
19th July 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Thanks Ron, I have not been able to use the footpath in my wheelchair for about 2 weeks due to the brambles and vegetation and I have seen many walkers with bloodied legs from attempting the path.

The new bridge looks great so far ...such a shame to have the bridge we always wanted without any plans to upgrade the paths, especially to the right of the new bridge and leading to the Leaden Stour and the round to the 'smokery' etc....we lost the Sustrans but there must be other soures of finance out there.

Best wishes and never be in doubt of the gratitude we feel for your work and everyone involved with this project... can we try and make it a disabled friendly project?

Richard Monaghan, Chairman of Sports Forum for Disabled

NEW - 3rd July 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Mark Adams, Technical Officer, Dorset Highways
2nd July 2013
FW: Flooding footpath

Mark.

Having last week-end spent some time walking the route via Pig-Shoot Lane and back via Dales Lane and yes speaking to a number of walkers and a few cyclists who very understandable find the route [path from the main Weir bridge over the Stour river somewhat difficult due to the overgrowth of vegetation, but MORE SO as my pictures SHOW the boggy / mud conditions of the so called PUBLIC FOOTPATH to Pig-Shoot Lane. Whereas my email said this would have overcome all the appalling route/path conditions by the then Bridleway bridge crossing at Pig-Shoot.

Reason for me taking these photos was to show how appalling this public path is and my CONCERNS has to be around potential risks factors, where young families use this pathway on a regular basis, the overgrowth is something we HAVE TO TAKE SERIOUSLY, for very obviously reasons!! Besides trying myself over past years to see the whole network restored to a path condition that is usable for cyclists and walkers.

Many thanks Mark, perhaps the Portfolio holder for the county should make some decision on this.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

Flooding Footpath Pig Shoot Area Bournemouth 1
Flooding Footpath Pig Shoot Area Bournemouth 2
Flooding Footpath Pig Shoot Area Bournemouth 3

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
28th June 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Mark.

Yes do understand where you are coming from and one that does attempt to walk the route be it via Pig-Shoot or Dales Lane and with our so called summer one has to wear as you say appropriate footwear.

That why when funding was withdrawn or as County then said, "Brakes put on the Hurn / Bournemouth connect 2 scheme" in Jan 2011, that was the biggest blow to so many of us that had spent years working up the bid.

The Sustrans was as we all know aimed at helping locals and visitors to make journeys in a way that would be of benefit to health and the environment.

Fully appreciate that the reasons put forward, one being reductions in funding and we know the endless ongoing objections / difficulties being put forward by landownership issues and Hurn Parish and others to this centrepiece of the new route into reinstating the historical Pig-Shoot crossing by this new bridleway bridge, a network of traffic-free paths and as described by Dorset County Council quiet roads to link communities on both sides of the river, well we know we will never see this PROJECT REVISITED AGAIN, hence now why we remain with these very POOR PATHS/LINKS.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Mark Adams, Technical Officer, Dorset Highways to Councillor Ron Whittaker
28th June 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Dear Cllr Whittaker

I refer to your email below passed to me by my colleague John Williamson.

I did inspect the area concerned during the winter months. As you are aware during the autumn/winter months the UK received a record amount of rainfall and there is no drainage system in this unmade unclassified track, and being so close to the river it is no surprise that it became flooded.

I will continue to monitor the situation over the upcoming winter, however, as I am sure you are aware highway budgets have been cut and we do not currently have the resources to carry out works on this unmade track and we have to prioritise any works on our existing priority highway network.

It would not be unexpected for walkers etc to find such rural areas in a condition where appropriate footwear may be required especially during winter months.

Mark Adams, Technical Officer, Dorset Highways

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
24th June 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Doubt it belongs to the estate, over to Dorset County Council to sort it out.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Local Resident
24th June 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Thank you for your reply.

In view of the lack of funds, is it worth an approach to the adjacent land owner? He/she may be prepared to assist instead of having constant repair costs to damaged fencing and trespassing by walkers and cyclists.

Local Resident

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
24th June 2013
RE: Flooding footpath

Your raise issues that I have over past years been raising, this area is within Christchurch and parish of Hurn, I entirely agree with all you say, but it is over to the county and frankly the local elected members to get this sorted out, in 2012 told that the county were investigating obtaining quotes for some improvements, agree it is an utter mess, makes it impossible for anyone to cycle through the area, told then no money up to 2015, so yes I am as frustrated as you are and many others.

Have copied in officers, including the chair of the cycle forum.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Local Resident to Councillor Ron Whittaker
24th June 2013
Flooding footpath

Last winter a section of public footpath became impassable due to flooding. Too deep even for ankle length walking boots. I am referring to the stretch between the end of Pigshoot Lane and the river Stour. There is a footbridge over the Leaden Stour and it is after this point and where the footpath continues south towards the river Stour that that the problem of flooding occurs. (O/S map ref: OL22 SZ 117958)

In order to navigate around the flooding the fencing to the adjacent field had been breached at either end. More recently the fence has been repaired to prevent such access.

Bearing in mind the increasing popularity of country walking and the improved access to this path by the current widening of the bridge over the nearby weir over the Stour (thank you for all your efforts here!) it would be a considerable benefit if the flooding path problem could be alleviated (e.g. A layer of hardcore of sufficient depth?). This would not only improve the walking amenity but also prevent damage and nuisance to the owners of the adjacent farmland.

I would be grateful for your help in this matter.

Local Resident