10 years of local access forum

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The East Riding of Yorkshire and Kingston upon Hull Joint Local Access Forum is celebrating 10 years of providing independent advice on matters relating to public access and the enjoyment of the area’s green spaces. The forum has recently published its Annual Report for 2013/14, which is now available to the public.

The Joint Local Access Forum works closely with both East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council and provides advice to help improve the opportunities for people to enjoy the countryside and participate in outdoor recreation. There are over 80 Local Access Forum in England, established following the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Councillor Arthur Hodgson, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s elected member representative on the Local Access Forum, said: “It is essential that we maintain and protect the Public Rights of Way network along with our urban and rural green spaces. They are an excellent and extremely important resource on our doorsteps and encouraging more people to use them can provide significant health and wellbeing benefits”.

The Annual Report summarises the work of the Local Access Forum over the past year. In particular, the forum has been involved in developing a new policy relating to the management of green lanes in the East Riding and has provided advice on the long-term management of the Hull-to-Hornsea and Hudson Way (Beverley-to-Market Weighton) Rail Trails. In the last year, the forum has also provided advice to Defra and the National Grid on countryside access issues. The report additionally includes an update on the councils’ Rights of Way Improvement Plans for both the East Riding and Hull.

The forum meets four times a year and the meetings are held in public at various locations across the East Riding and Hull. The next meeting of the Joint Local Access Forum will be held on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 at The Town Hall in Bridlington.

The Joint Local Access Forum Annual Report 2013/14 can be downloaded at www.eastriding.gov.uk or by contacting the secretariat.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council provides the secretariat for the forum through the rural policy and partnerships team and can be contacted on (01482) 391691 or email accessforum@eastriding.gov.uk

The East Riding of Yorkshire local authority area contains approximately 1,600km of public rights of way, including the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail and other long distance routes, such as the Transpennine Trail and Minster Way.

The ‘Walking the Riding’ website http://walkingtheriding.eastriding.gov.uk helps residents and visitors to discover over 250 interesting routes passing through the towns, villages, nature reserves, coast and rolling hills of East Yorkshire and is ideal for experienced walkers or those looking for short strolls. The website also includes recreational routes for cyclists and horse riders.

Each local highway authority is statutorily required to prepare a Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The Joint Local Access Forum was closely involved in the development of both the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan (2008 – 2018) and the Hull City Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan (2009 - 2019).

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