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Walkers' plea to mend stiles
The president of a Bradford rambling group has called for action on “dangerous” stiles on walking routes in the district.
Mick Melvin, of the Bradford CHA Rambling and Social Club, said on an average day, walkers would have a problem with up to five per cent of the stiles they came across.
He said many stiles in the district, including some in the Addingham area, presented a danger to walkers, young or old.
He wants to see landowners take responsibility for problem stiles on their land, and for the council to take action if that does not happen.
Mr Melvin added: “I think there are a lot of elderly walkers who go out mid-week and they won’t be able to get past these stiles.
“Very often an attempt has been made to block the stiles with old timber or wooden pallets with large nails protruding. These can snag a waterproof jacket or trousers, which can cost more than £200.”
A survey by Keighley Ramblers last year, who studied 256 miles of public rights of way, found popular paths were generally well-signposted and problem-free, but on lesser-used routes there were issues, including broken stiles and obstructions.
The survey covered an area stretching from Addingham to Oxenhope, and also included Silsden, Riddlesden, Keighley, Oakworth and Haworth.
Danny Jackson, Bradford Council’s countryside and rights of way service manager, said: “The condition and maintenance of stiles and other types of gate along rights of way in Bradford district is the responsibility of the landowner.
“If a problem stile is reported to us, we would investigate to ascertain whether it is causing a safety issue or an obstruction of the right of way.
“The next step is for us to inform the landowner of the problem and co-operate with them to find the best and quickest way of solving it.”