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Rhondda magistrates have decided to stop up the rights of riders and cyclists to use an ancient highway up to Garth Mountain in Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT). On 3 December, the magistrates confirmed a proposal from RCT Council that all the rights except those on foot be removed from the road which runs to the mountain from the north.
Our member Jay Kynch, with the British Horse Society and many other objectors, opposed the plan.
Says Jay: ‘The law requires the magistrates to be satisfied that the route is unnecessary. In determining this, the magistrates need to know that there is a reasonably suitable alternative way for riders and cyclists. The magistrates concluded that the highway is unnecessary but give no reason for this, and they fail to mention the need to be satisfied that there is a reasonably suitable alternative.
‘In fact, there is no alternative within miles—so clearly the route is necessary. While I have no objection to vehicular rights being stopped up, if the route is closed to riders and cyclists, they will no longer be able to get from RCT onto the Garth Common where they have long enjoyed permissive access. They will suffer a cruel blow.’
Jay and other objectors are considering whether to lodge an appeal against the magistrates’ decision.