“a duty to ‘assert, protect and keep open’ public rights of way..”

Possibly the key comment on this story – as the other Causeway row rumbles on.. and the young-Earthers wait with bated breath – comes via the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs – “Moyle [District Council] has to act – legislation has to be revisited and amended but District Councils are not the place where access agreements should be negotiated – this must be a central government matter.” The access agreement concerned is just one which Nevin claims have been, and are being, eroded throughout the Moyle DC area. And while the BBC are now reporting this story, it’s already been flagged up in this Belfast Telegraph report [via the UFRC] – and in this more recent report. However the Rambling Clubs are warning of an increased campaign..

As long term public access should be assured, the Federation suggests that assertion as a public right of way be considered and it would be happy to assist in gathering evidence of use to support the case for action.

..while the BBC report points back to Moyle Council

A spokesman confirmed the coastal path issue is to be discussed at a full meeting of the council next month. That still leaves time for an access agreement with the landowner, such agreements are in place with many farmers along the north coast. The council so far seems reluctant to rely on its powers which apparently could force the landowner to dismantle the steel barrier and allow the public to use the coastal path.

Perhaps it is time for the central administration to take over responsibility for such access..

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