John Harker, Area Officer, Sheffield
This article is from Signpost 68, Summer 2021
The photos show the "before" (above) and "after" (below) of this footpath in the Darnall area of Sheffield. The car park visible in the photos is the Tinsley Park golf club car park on Infield Lane. Footpath 209 connects to it here after running along the edge of the parking area. However, this junction has always been obstructed by fencing. I have been aware of this for many years, but since there is the car park entrance about 20 yards away (see last photo), this seemed to be a minor inconvenience which I never pressed with the Highway Authority.
However, current circumstances changed the situation. Lockdown has led to closure of this municipal golf course and its car park. The entrance is blocked by a padlocked metal vehicle barrier without any facility for walkers. This changed my views about the obstruction. Without informal access through the car park entrance to get onto the footpath, a detour of some inconvenience was needed to reach the same point. I contacted Sheffield Council Public Rights of Way Unit. They agreed that under these circumstances, the obstruction needed addressing. Within a few weeks, a step over metal stile was inserted in the fence, plus a new "Public Footpath" signpost.
The law of unintended consequences has led to a longstanding, albeit minor problem, being resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Without the consequences of the lockdown, it might never had been resolved, although its trivial in such awful circumstances.
Next: A Broken Stile
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