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The society and the Warwickshire Ramblers have objected to a plan by Warwickshire County Council to put a locked gate across Tinkers Lane, Lapworth, south of the M40. The council has consulted us about making a gating order to reduce alleged crime and anti-social behaviour.
We strongly oppose this because they have seen no evidence of crime or anti-social behaviour to justify this closure. There is only one property on the lane that would benefit from its gating, versus the severe inconvenience to countless walkers, horse-riders and cyclists of losing this important through-route. In any case, three footpaths cross Tinkers Lane between the proposed gates, thus nullifying the effect of any gating.
We are dismayed that the council could even consider gating Tinkers Lane. Parliament never intended gating orders under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 to be used in the countryside, and Tinkers Lane is in a rural area. The only grounds for making such an order are to reduce crime or anti-social behaviour, yet the council has produced no evidence that this is a problem.
The route is a valuable link in the rights-of-way network for non-motorised users who wish to avoid the tortuous and dangerous C roads, Wheatsheaf and Hole House Lanes to the south. If Tinkers Lane were to be gated users would be put at severe risk, leading to accidents or even deaths.
We trust the council will think again.