Three new bridleways to be created in Biggleswade and Langford

'It's a great way to exercise with all the positive physical and mental benefits associated with this'

By Joanna Gravett
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 9:58 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:56 am

Central Bedfordshire Council is in the process of creating three new bridleways for Biggleswade and Langford.

The council aims to establish Biggleswade Bridleway No. 70, starting from the water tower near Langford, travelling left down Edworth Road and then heading north into the countryside, where it will join with Langford Bridleway No. 18 (and head towards the village) and Biggleswade Bridleway No.69, which will head north to a track near the Pumping Station, London Road.

Currently, the paths are used by the public, but legal work needs to be completed so they can be "added to the Definitive Map and Public Rights of Way maps which are used to inform Ordnance Survey maps".

Map: Central Bedfordshire Council.

In a recent letter to Biggleswade Town Council dated January 5, CBC stated: "These bridleways have already been in place on the ground for a number of years and are used informally by the public. However, the associated legal work has not yet been completed and it is the Public Path Order to create these bridleways as legal rights of way that I am seeking your approval to progress."

Councillor Grant Fage, Deputy Mayor of Biggleswade Town Council, told the Chronicle: "This is really exciting news. It's great that we have this new facility making use of a path that's already there but upgrading its status to Rights of Way.

"It's very hard to get new bridleways and footpaths here, because we are by the A1, a river and a railway, so you either have to go under or over things to get Rights of Way in place, and there are only so many ways you can do that.

"The Town Council strongly supported this when it came through, and we did publicly thank CBC for the effort they have put in."

Map: Central Bedfordshire Council.

A bridleway is a legal right of way which can be used by horse riders, cyclists, and pedestrians, and the paths were physically created at the same time that the wind farm was constructed.

A CBC spokeswoman told the Chronicle: "The normal procedure is to undertake legal work to establish the right of way prior to opening routes. However, there was a backlog of legal work and we wanted people to benefit from the paths as soon as possible. We own the land, so we were able to allow people to use the route sooner.

"The legal work will allow the path to be added to the Definitive Map and Public Rights of way maps which are used to inform Ordnance Survey maps."

They added: "Bridleways are a great asset to the countryside. They provide a means for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders to enjoy the countryside. Getting out and about in this way is a great way to exercise with all the positive physical and mental benefits associated with this.

Map: Central Bedfordshire Council

"These routes are also important as they improve the connectivity of the rights of way network, providing an off-road route from Langford to Biggleswade. These new routes, therefore, help to provide ways for the public to make short journeys using sustainable modes of transport.

"Provision of bridleways helps us to meet many of our objectives including enhancing Central Bedfordshire, improving wellbeing, and creating stronger communities."

Map: Central Bedfordshire Council
The existing path on a winter's day. Photo: Cllr Fage.