STSECR 4/d/R149/12/87 ITEM 3(b) RIGHTS OF WAY SUB-COMMITTEE 14TH JANUARY, 1988 RECLASSIFICATION OF RUPP 132 HAVANT ("THE WADE WAY") - WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981 Report of the County Secretary Physical Description 1. The Wade Way leads south from Langstone High Street on gravelled foreshore for 40 metres approximately, then sout-east on an enclosed causeway 2 metres wide for 500 metres and south south-east for 130 metres to cross the "New Cut" (which is always under water), approximately 15 metres wide. The Wade Way then continues south for 50 metres, south south-west on mud for 150 metres, and south south-west and south for 130 metres across a rutted, channelled and marshy area, to join Northney Road, about 70 metres west of Footpath No. 79 Hayling Island. 2. The Wade Way is tidal and covered by water most of the time. Even at low tide it is extremely dangerous to use. (Photographs will be displayed at the meeting). Historical Evidence 3. The King Hold's Hayling - An Account of Hayling Island" by F.G.S. Thomas (published in 1961), mentions the Wade Way in several places. According to an Inventory of Churchyards dated 1552 a chalice was sold and the proceeds used for the Church "and the Wade Way over the fery...." Church records also mention that people were drowned in the Way Way, and the expenses of clearing the Wade Way, repairing the boat and paying the ferrymen were shared between the Parishes. A survey of Hayling dated 1775 mentioned by Mr. Thomas also records horses and carriages using the Wade Way. 4. The Wade Way is clearly shown on the 1810 OS Map and is actually marked "Causeway" on the 1870 OS Map. A plan of 1815 also marks the way as "Langstone Wadeway". However there is no mention of the Wade Way in the Havant and Hayling Tithe and Enclosure Awards. 5. In 1817 an Act of Parliament set up a Company to construct the Portsmouth and Arun Canal. The Canal Company had to provide replacement routes for any rights of way cut through by the Canal, (which would have included the Wade Way), and whoever was liable to maintain the original routes became liable for the new routes once made up. 6. (a) In 1823 another Act of Parliament set up a Company to construct the road bridge and causeway (to support the bridge abutments), between Langstone and North Hayling. The Act said that "for the space of twelve hours of every twenty-four there is no direct communication between the mainland and Hayling Island (except Boats) owing to the Passage commonly known by the Name of "The Wadeway"... being overflowed by the Sea". The Act went on to say..." from the violence of the Winds and Sea the said passage called "the Wadeway" is frequently covered by the Tide the whole twenty four hours together, and Boats are often totally prevented from crossing,... by reason whereof any Communication between the Mainland and Hayling Island becomes impracticable, and great Inconvenience, Difficulty and Loss are thereby occasioned, and the lives of His Majesty's Subjects are very much endangered". (b) Under the Act the Canal Company agreed to make a contribution towards the building of the bridge, to absolve them from having to provide their own bridge to replace the Wade Way. 7. The road bridge and causeway were constructed by 1825 and the Canal was certainly navigable by 1831 according to Quarter Sessions records. 8. The evidence of public use of the Wade Way is very sketchy. Obviously use was restricted by tides and weather and it is very doubtful that carriages or carts could or wanted to use it once the road bridge was built by 1825 and the Canal was cut. It is likely that the Canal channel has become narrower this century, and the King Holds Hayling records that a horse could be jumped over the channel at low tide. Pedestrian use is possible still at Spring low tides but it is very hazardous and anyone attempting to use the route would be at risk. Consultations 9. Havant Borough Council - the Borough Council's Planning and Development Committee met on the 1st October, 1987 and resolved that the Wade Way should be reclassified as a bridlway. They felt that it should not be closed and that warning notices should not be erected. The Borough Secretary considers that the Wade Way is an ancient highway but in his view there is insufficient evidence to suggest vehicular rights. He also points out that there is no practical vehicular access onto the Wade Way at the Langstone end, which therefore makes the Wade Way a cul-de-sac for vehicles. Chichester Harbour Conservancy - the Conservancy state that the Wade Way is impassable for vehicles along nearly all of its length and would be extremely danagerous on horseback. They consider that the Wade Way should be reclassified to footpath, providing some adequate warning of the dangers could be given. Bosmore 100 and the Langstone Village Association - the Wade Way should be reclassified as a footpath. All Wheel Drive Club and the Trail Riders Fellowship - no objection if the Wade Way is reclassified to footpath or bridleway. Byways and Bridleways Trust - the Wade Way should be reclassified as a bridleway. Countryside Heritage Site 10. A lot of local interest has been shown in the Wade Way, which forms part of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy SSSI area. The Coastal Conservation Panel recommended on the 14th September 1987 that the Wade Way should be designated as a Countryside Heritage Site. This recommendation was referred to the Roads and Development Committee, who agreed to the designation on the 14th December, 1987. The Wade Way has been recorded as a Countryside Heritage Site because of its historic interest. The Harbour Conservancy are considering making byelaws to prevent bait digging around the Wade Way, and will be discussing some form of information board with the County Planning Officer and County Recreation Officer. Conclusion 11. It seems that pedestrians, horseriders and some vehicles used the Wade Way before the Canal was cut. However the 1817 Act seems to have stopped up public rights along the Wade Way, as soon as an alternative route was provided, (i.e. the road bridge). Since 1825 there appears to have been some pedestrian and equestrian use of the Wade Way despite the provision of the road bridge and so it can be assumed that footpath and bridleway rights have been acquired again by the public. 12. The Heritage Site designation has no legal effect on the reclassification of the Wade Way and the criteria to be considered. 13. I consider that there is insufficient evidence of vehicular use since 1825 to support a reclassification of the Wade Way to Byway Open to All Traffic. As there is no evidence that bridleway rights do not exist then the County Council must reclassify the Wade Way as a bridleway under section 54(3)(b) of the 1981 Act. RECOMMENDATION: 14. It is recommended that RUPP 132 Havant ("The Wade Way") be reclassified to a bridleway. 4/d/R149/12/87
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