Langport Drayton path under review
Somerset County Council are reviewing the existence/non-existence of a right of way between Langport and Drayton. The path is the droveway that runs from Frog Lane and then turns right towards Drayton Parish along Park Lane. Also under discussion is Huish Drove. Notices have appeared on gateposts asking residents not to use it.
The droveway runs around the outskirts of the Hurds Hill estate before finally emerging onto the A378 just before the turn off to Drayton.
What is not disputed is that the droveway crosses private land. What is less clear is if it is an ancient right of way or is not. SCC are looking into whether historic rights of way are invested in this route. However it does not currently appear on the definitive pathways list for Somerset.
The definitive map is usually considered the ultimate arbiter on rights of way, but it has been known to be wrong. For instance in the case of the right of way that appeared on it in 1959 running through Turn Hill Farm in High Ham. It took nearly 60 years to resolve that dispute and more than one public inquiry. But the footpath was eventually struck off the definitive footpath map.
Perhaps with that incident in mind, SCC are taking their time to investigate. They are looking for evidence that Frog Lane and Park Lane have been in common usage. Anyone who has evidence of the use of the paths can submit their comments. To find out more please get in touch with the SCC Officer responsible. he is Harry Wood and can be contacted at HJWood@somerset.gov.uk
SCC would like to receive all evidence before 1 December. Then they will start taking stock prior to issuing a decision.
There will be a full report on this in the November edition of The Leveller®