This photo was taken on Tuesday 26th March by committee member Tony Grogan. This is the third gate after leaving the Ilkley Tennis Club at the start of the Dales Way. Walkers were avoiding this altogether and walking on the other side of the fence in the farmers field leading to the farmers gate. Apparently this is not an isolated case. The Area Right of Way Officer of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been informed. They, in turn, have contacted their Countryside Team to see if the drainage can be improved.
Following a complaint from three senior walkers in October 2014 about difficult stiles between Bolton Bridge and Addingham, I contacted Tim Brooks, Area Right of Way Officer, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, on behalf of the Dales Way Association, as to how this section of the Dales Way could be improved for Dales Way and local walkers. For reference, a video was produced of all the stiles from Olicana Caravan park to Bolton Road. This was put up on YouTube under the title: Ilkley to B Ab. Stiles. (Dales Way – of limited interest)
Particular reference was made about the very difficult high stile near the steps leading up to Bolton Road. (Right hand stile above.) Resistance to any change by the landowner prevented any progress with no legal way to change the situation.
However, Tim Brooks has now informed us that they have permission to replace two of the stiles on this section. The ladder stile will be replaced with a pedestrian gate and the wooden stile replaced with a kissing gate. This latter improvement is most welcome, as the height of the step-over makes it very difficult for all but the most agile walker to cross. This work will be done at some point in the summer.
The Dales Way Association, on behalf of all Dales Way and local walkers, wish to thank Bradford Metropolitan District Council Officers for their tenacity in following up and solving walkers complaints.