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Old 08-12-2004, 09:17 PM
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Default Cattle Grids and Bikes don't mix

I've just had a phonecall from this bloke called Fred Marzillius of Telscombe nr Newhaven about his situation and wonders whether I (as SE MAG rep) can help him. So I thought I'd post this and see if you've all got any ideas.

His problem is that the local town council where he lives have put cattle grids along the track which he and his wife both ride on (he has a BMW and she a scooter). This has made riding down the track very dangerous (his wife almost came off today) and as they do not have a car, they do not have any other option as this track is the only link from their house to the main road.

They decided to fill the grid (along a small area wide enough to get a bike down and no more) with concrete so they can ride over it. They have now been 'threatened' by Sussex Police with prosecution for criminal damage. When I say threatened, it was well over a month ago and nothing has happened since - apart from a member of the local conservation trust threatening to send the police round again unless they pay £150 to have the concrete dug out (they called his bluff and so far again nothing has happened).

Local residents have come out in favour of Fred and his wife Carol against certain elements of the town council.

The story has been featured in The Argus and on the BBC local news and more information can be got from the link South East News
I can also send a pdf of the Argus pages should anyone want further information (please pm me with your email addy)

In the meantime, has anyone got any information on road accidents relating to cattle grids and motorcycles/cycles?

Cheers
Mitch
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Last edited by Mitch; 08-12-2004 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:25 PM
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Very nearly Mitch.

In wales along a single track road i nearly gobbed my VF400 about 5 years ago.
Taly-nant was the destination not used much other than by farm vehicles...i almost lost the back end cos one of the grids was on a bend fuck all sideways traction and i consider them as bad as diesel spills (which we all know are illegal)
Are any of these grids on a bend Mitch? in which case maybe a counter action can be made by your friends as it would'nt be difficult to prove the hazard that these things pose.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyfp
Are any of these grids on a bend Mitch? in which case maybe a counter action can be made by your friends as it would'nt be difficult to prove the hazard that these things pose.
Not as far as I know, they're just on open plain so the track goes straight, but like you say, they're as dangerous as diesel spills so surely they should be treated in the same light?
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:45 PM
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IF your friend successfully counters the councils wrath then it will be a land mark case and may even see the outlawing of these grids.
Keep us informed Mitch this could be interesting.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:49 PM
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First question, who owns the track?
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:53 PM
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Alls i know is from the post. it seems to be the council who fitted the grids.
and the council who are trying to charge em.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyfp
Alls i know is from the post. it seems to be the council who fitted the grids.
and the council who are trying to charge em.
Yes, I looked at the bit on the BBC news website and it didn't say. I assume that if the council put the grids in, then it owns the track, and may have control over what constitutes 'reasonable access'.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:03 PM
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I've always thought that anything that presents a danger on the road can be liable for civil action.
I imagine its the greyest area as theres so many things that pose a threat to bikers such as man hole covers for instance how could you legislate against stuff like that.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:15 PM
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Playing a bit of devil's advocate here.................



...........Surely as long as the council puts up proper warning signs, then they are in the clear if anybody comes off????




In parts of the country it has even been shown that the local sheep soon get wise and learn how to roll over the grids to escape mad Welshmen

Even our dog has learnt how to tippy -toe over them FFS.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:19 PM
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Ah it all becomes clear now.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyfp
I've always thought that anything that presents a danger on the road can be liable for civil action..
As all the reports refer to it as a 'track', then it may well be unadopted and not a public right of way, which changes (ie usually negates!) the legal position.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:19 PM
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the link doesn't work for me but, some additional thoughts:-


Is this really the only vehicular access route to their property?

Were they consulted or notified prior to the installation?

Do they actually have "Right of Way" along the track?

If so, how long have they enjoyed this right?

Some cattle grids have an access gate beside them, could something suitable like that have been negotiated first, before people got cranky?
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:28 PM
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The gate alongside is the obvious answer. If these gates are there, then I'd say they don't have a case. It may be inconvenient to have to stop, get off, open gate etc etc, but it could be argued that as its their choice to ride bikes, its their choice to use the gates.

If there are no gates, and they have a right of way, then I would think they'd have a case against the council for something like 'preventing them from enjoying full and free access to their property' (dunno legal wording). After all, they might want to walk along the track, and could break a leg walking over the grid.

A lot depends on the status of the track and their rights to use it.
Only my (uninformed) opinion.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:29 AM
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Wait till you hurt yourself ie fall from a ladder doing DIY and get to the grid and claim you slipped walking over it. Not legal, but with a couple of witnesses it might have an intresting outcome. Also wouldn't this go against anti-pollution laws by favouring gas-guzzling cars over more economical motorcycle/scooters?
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Old 09-12-2004, 08:33 AM
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they should have pedestrian access by law otherwise peeps walking could slip between the grids and break an ankle. They could try getting the council to make the ped access big enough for bikes too.

or perhaps a plank or two left at the side of the fence which they can use to ride over the grid and move once across?

that's what I would do anyway, can't do anything then cos the planks ain't permanent.

yeah I heard about those sheep too, we thought they were dumb animals lol
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Old 09-12-2004, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Dog
the link doesn't work for me but, some additional thoughts:-


Is this really the only vehicular access route to their property?

Were they consulted or notified prior to the installation?

Do they actually have "Right of Way" along the track?

If so, how long have they enjoyed this right?

Some cattle grids have an access gate beside them, could something suitable like that have been negotiated first, before people got cranky?
It is the only access to their property and no they weren't consulted when the grids were installed a month ago. It seems the couple were not consulted in the slightest.
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Old 09-12-2004, 11:29 AM
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Just found out that The Tye, where they live is public common land. There are plans to let cattle graze on there, hence the grids.

Here's the story from the paper (copyright The Argus)
A COUPLE have been warned they could face arrest after filling in a cattle grid they said made their journey to work hazardous. Scooter rider Carol Marzillius, 51, already had to negotiate three cattle grids on the dirt track leading to her bungalow overlooking Telscombe. When a new one was installed next to her home a month ago she decided it was the final straw. She and husband Fred, 55, who rides a BMW 1100 motorbike, emptied a pile of rubble into the well below the iron bars. They then covered their handiwork with a layer of cement. Sales assistant Carol, who rides a Gilera 50cc scooter, said: “Since we filled this one in it’s the only cattle grid I feel safe on. “I was shaking when I slipped on the one farther down.” Fred said: “It can be really dangerous because if your foot goes down between the bars and the bike falls on top of you, you could do yourself some damage.”
The couple remain defiant despite having been warned by police that they could be arrested for criminal damage. Fred said: “I am mainly concerned about safety. I don’t want to get arrested but I couldn’t forgive myself if Carol had an accident.” Senior ranger Simon Culpin, who is responsible for the common land around the dirt track, said: “We are willing to work with the Marzilliuses. “There is a coating you can paint on the cattle grid to prevent slipping so we may look into using that.” Telscombe Town Council clerk Kathleen Verrall said she had been told the Marzilliuses would not be prosecuted. She said: “We certainly did not want the police to become involved. We are sure we can find a way around this.”
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:09 PM
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Council twats could'nt have thought about a coating before putting these grids in inthe first place.
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:10 PM
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No,that'd be sensible!
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:17 PM
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it looks like this Simon Culpin bloke has been causing more sh1te for Fred and Carol - but it looks like the problem with the Telscombe Tye is bigger and not just affecting them. he threatened to send the old bill around again if they did not pay him £150 to have the concrete dug out - in the end they called his bluff and he backed down - for now!

It looks like the town council are trying to make the Tye into someone's private land - maybe they'll be selling it to the highest bidder.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:47 PM
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Important information about registered common land in East Sussex

The registers of common land for the county of East Sussex were destroyed by fire. East Sussex County Council has powers to reconstitute these registers but has not yet completed that process.

The Countryside Agency has been advised that until this reconstitution is complete it should not show registered common land in East Sussex on the provisional map. Land that was shown as registered common land on the draft map of East Sussex, and which meets the criteria for open country, is shown as open country on the provisional map.

We may review the East Sussex part of the map of southeast England when the common land registers have been reconstituted.

From website: http://www.ca-mapping.co.uk/mapping/Regional/1/R1.htm
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch
It looks like the town council are trying to make the Tye into someone's private land - maybe they'll be selling it to the highest bidder.
Yeah, probably "travellers" (who don't travel)
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Old 09-12-2004, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyfp
I've always thought that anything that presents a danger on the road can be liable for civil action.
I imagine its the greyest area as theres so many things that pose a threat to bikers such as man hole covers for instance how could you legislate against stuff like that.
These feckin' tram tracks in sheffield certainly make brown undies a standard option for riding around the area
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Old 09-12-2004, 11:45 PM
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Got em in Wolvo too, i know what you mean.
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:02 AM
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The other half's from Wolvo is there a link here?? HMMMM
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Old 16-12-2004, 07:48 PM
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Default An update! It stinks!!

You ain't going to believe this!!

Just had another call from Fred Marzillius. You may remember I told you about the problems he and his wife are having with the cattle grid which Telscombe town council has installed on the track leading up to their home.

He phoned me again tonight telling me of the latest.

He has received a letter from the local town council to say he will be facing proceedings from January 9, next year!

Basically the town ranger is lying through his teeth about the reasons for installing the grid. At first, the cattle was going to graze on the tye, they have since put up electric fencing round a certain area making the fence redundant. this is all in the name of cash!

I'm getting a copy of the letter by email tomorrow which I will forward to the forum. I should have some more details then.

does anyone have contacts within the TRF? If so, I would like advice on this as in effect the dirt track is a public bridleway with the same restrictions as per the Road Traffic Act I believe (please correct me if not)

There are no warning signs with the grid. It is one of three that has been put into the Tye. There is of course a wider issue and that is a private farmer's cattle that are being allowed to graze on common land! It is causing a major stink in Telscombe village.
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Old 16-12-2004, 08:12 PM
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Pack o twats!

Well it gonna force ya mates hand...he may not win the case but it won't put the council in very high regard with constituants.

come the revolution etc..
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Old 16-12-2004, 08:35 PM
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I remember watching a program about a similar topic where ppl were buying common land and forcing ppl to pay to get to their own properties.

Eventially the councils/government (can't remember which) were forced to stop the harrasment.

Hopfully they will step in and do something about this moron
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Old 17-12-2004, 12:13 AM
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Mrs R says:

We're off to see him on Saturday, I'm going to take my bike up there and ride over the unconcreted part of the grid at a rate of knots and if I go arse over tit I'm going to sue the f*ckers!!!
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