Objector: Paul Sladen
"nb. Jubilee"
c/o 25 Linden Grove
Telephone: 0115 922 7162
Email: ncc@paul.sladen.org

FAO: John Lee
Senior Rights of Way Officer
Nottingham City Council
Telephone: 0115 9156 078

Objection Footpath No.28 (ref: SUO 5015)

Objection to the Stopping Up of Footpath No.28 at the site of Nottingham Midland railway station formed by Footbridge No.20B and connecting paths over Network Rail lands between Station Street (north) and Queen's Street (south).

I support the Station Masterplan develoment and NET Phase Two extension works, I object to the permanent stopping of up Footpath No.28 as proposed in the Order:

The Order should be denied in its present form:

The Order should be remade:

After which the Applicant should be encouraged to have applied for a permanent footpath Diversion Order, by way of:

  1. the current Footbridge No.20B for the majority of its length
  2. the future Tram NET Phase 2 bridge for the majority of its length (currently planned as a permissive right-of-way)
  3. any/or more suitable grade-separated route of superior quality and closer in function to that of the original Footpath No.28 (such a route would likely need to to be to the East of the currently Footpath No.28)

Personal experience

I can confirm that the right-of-way is used as such. I recently used the entirety of Footpath No.28 as a pedestrian to travel between Nottingham City Centre and Anchor Supplies using the backstreet route Trent Street–Footpath No.28–Queen's Road–Summer Leys Lane–Crocus Street–and continued.

The day in question was extremely wet with heavy downpour and large amounts of spray being thrown up by motor vehicles on the main roads. I was able to pause and shelter in the southern end of the covered bridge section for a short period while the heavy rain subsided; and avoid the majority of spray from puddles by using the near-contigious traffic-free afforded by Footpath No.2 and its connections.

Supporting historic considerations:

Whilst the grounds of objection afforded in this instance are narrowed by the circumstances of the requesting of the Order, I hope that any review can take account of the wider context of the routeing of the footpath as it stands today:

  1. Nottingham Midland station covers an area of over 17 hectares, and has an accessible perimeter circumference of approximately 1,140 metres.
  2. A pedestrian needing to travel from a particular point on the perimeter to an opposite particular point would reasonably expect not to travel further than approximately 570 metres (5.5 minutes walking time at 100 metres/minute), taking whichever perimeter route is shortest.
  3. New rights-of-way presenting an impedient to existing travel have generally been required to provide accomodation access at reasonable intervals such that existing travellers are not unduely inconvenienced. This accomodation access is either grade-separated (bridges, subways), or on a level. Historically this requirement has been applied to Canal Works, Railway Works, Motorways and Highways, and other similar General Works likely to be an impediment to travel.
  4. The Midland Railway constructed accomodation Footbridge No.21, ensuring that existing travellers would not be unduely inconvenienced.
  5. The original Footbridge No.21 (length 160 metres) approximately bisected the enclosed Midland Station area.
  6. By bisecting the station area, Footbridge No.21 reduced the worst-case distance of travel for pedestrians by between 0 metres and 410 metres, (ie. compared to wholly transversing one half of the perimetre, measuring approximately 570-metres).
  7. The Right-of-Way offered over Footbridge No.21 was chosen and established with good reason, it was centrally offered perimeter bisections of: approximately 515 metres (via East perimeter portion) and 625 metres (via West perimeter portion).
  8. Requests to Stop Up Footbridge No.21 and its Right-of-Way (Footpath No.28) without a replacement were denied with good reason.
  9. British Railway Board (BRB) offered a replacement with inferiour perimeter bisecting capability: 377 metres (via East perimetre portion) 763 metres (via West portion).
  10. BRB's offer was viewed as preferable to complete closure and economic costs of replacement of Footbridge 21.
  11. BRB's offer would likely have been declined had any hint been made that BRB or its sucessors-in-interest would later seek to renegate upon its duties though seeking ultimate closure.
  12. Section 1.5 claims "The alternative route, ... is relatively flat". Whilst step-free the route is by no means flat, being routed via a vehicle highway with greater height than Footbridge No.21B.
  13. Travelling to-or-from the present Station Street tram stop is presently a continious one-way gradient involving two flights of steps; the main ones to the south of the railway staton, and shallow steps between the Footpath No.28 and the tram stop.
  14. Section 3 (Other Options Considered) fails to note any investigation of a tempoary prohibition order which would development to take place safely, without Network Rail being "liable to enforcement action being taken against it for unlawful obstruction" for the duration of construction works.
  15. Section 5.1 claims that the "the continued existence of the footpath is incompatible with the proposed development", however this directly contradicts with East Midlands Trains assertion on 12 March 2010 that "If the closure of the right of way goes ahead ... rail users will still be able to use the bridge.".

Footnotes and references

  1. Unnumbered, not yet on definitive map. Runs from base of Garner's Hill Steps/Cliff Road southwards to junction of Canal Street/Middle Hill/Trent Street pedestrian access providing foot access to Broadmarsh Centre Ground-level and bus station at its mid-section.
  2. Unnumbered, confirmed as being due to be ungated and added to definitive map and positioned over Beeston and Nottingham Canal halfway between Canal bridges (No.4,5 and 6 "Trent Street") and London Road bridge.
  3. Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Act 1994 (c. 15) http://opsi.gov.uk/acts/localact1994/ukla_19940015_en_10 "Work No. 1A—A footbridge over Station Street between a point on the existing footbridge over Nottingham Midland Station 15 metres south-west of the junction of Station Street with Trent Street and a point on the said existing viaduct of the former Great Central Railway 23 metres north-west of the said road junction."
  4. A picture of the original Bridge No.21 previously carrying Footpath No.28: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loose_grip_99/350613441
  5. "Minister solves row over train station footbridge barriers", Sheffield Telegraph (13 April 2010). http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news2/Minister-solves-row-over-train.6221614.jp
  6. "Sheffield station ticket barrier plans put on hold", BBC News Online (13 April 2010). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8617002.stm
  7. "Station footbridge to stay open for rail passengers if right of way closure passed", Nottingaham Evening Post (12 March 2010). http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Station-footbridge-stay-open-rail-passengers-right-way-closure-passed/article-1909320-detail/article.html