Do you know the path, called Muddy Lane, that links Byfleet to Wisley at the end of Sanway Road in Byfleet? If you do, and if you have cycled along it in the past then we would like your help. Muddy Lane is a very strategic route for cyclists heading south from this area, there are few safe alternatives.
It has been used without hindrance for many years, but recently one landowner has decided that cyclists are not welcome and is trying to prevent anyone from using the lane. We (Woking Cycle Users Group, Elmbridge Cycle Group and CTC Woking) have made an official map modification application, so that the right to use this lane is preserved. For this, we needed to identify people who had cycled this path at any time between 1983 and 2009. Did you, or do you know of anyone, who may have used this path during this time? We included about 50 evidence forms with our application but it is a case of the more we send, the better our chances will be to have the ruling in our favour. So, if you can help us, please get in touch with us so we can send you an evidence form to fill out. Send an e-mail to Carole at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the form. Your help will be much appreciated.
April 2014. When we first sent the application (October 2013) we were 24th in line and now, 6 months later, we seemed to have crawled up to number 22. The Countryside Access Officer says it will probably be at least 12 months before any significant progress will be made.
May 2014 I attended the Countryside Access meeting this month and discovered we were now number 16 in line! We added another 6 submissions to our file. That makes a total of 57 evidence forms we have submitted.
June 2014 See the minutes of our AGM 2014 for full update.
May 2015 Our number has come up and the investigation has been assigned to an officer and she is gathering evidence and interviewing concerned parties!!! We submitted another 2 evidence forms.
March 2016 An email from Catherine Valient, received at the end of March, said:
I can confirm that I have completed the investigation and written my recommendation as a report. I have submitted that report to our legal team and they are in the process of considering the findings. I had hoped to be able to get the report to the April Planning & Regulatory Committee, however the legal team are quite inundated at the moment and they have indicated that they cannot meet that timescale. Unfortunately there is not a P&R Committee in May (due to elections), so the case will now be going to the June Committee meeting. At this stage I am unable to let you know what my recommendation is, as it has not been considered by the legal team. However, nearer to the date of the committee you will be able to see a full copy of the report and, if you wish to, you will be able to register to speak at the Committee meeting.
June 2016 Good news on the Muddy Lane issue. We received an e-mail from Catherine Valiant saying her report was going to the Planning and Regulatory Committee on 8 June with the recommendation that a Map Modification Order be made to change the status of the footpath to a bridleway. You can read her full report by following this link Planning & Regulatory Committee; her report is item 8. It makes interesting reading. We have no doubt there will be an objection and it will have to go to a public inquiry but at least we are moving along.
June 8th The planning and regulatory committee have approved the upgrade of Muddy Lane from footpath to bridleway. Obviously this will go to appeal and we can expect a public enquiry to be held. Catherine thinks this will be sometime after Christmas. She didn’t specify which Christmas. Anyway, good news for now. The objections at today’s meeting, by our friend, were a challenge to the dates that Catherine had chosen, and a claim that a previous court case about his fence obstructing the footpath had confirmed that it should actually be a footpath and not a bridleway. Both points were broadly ignored by the committee who voted 7-1 in favour.
May 2018 The Public Inquiry regarding Muddy Lane will be held at The Council Chamber, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6YL on 22 and 23 May 2018 starting at 10.00am. All welcome to attend.