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


This page has been taken from HANTSNET - Hampshire County Council's Information Network.

Up: Top of this page       Home: Hantsweb Homepage


Up: Top of this page       Home: Hantsweb Homepage