Saturday, 20 December 2008

Help needed to establish right-of-way in Skewen

Arthur Davies, Labour councillor for Coedffranc Central, has asked for help in registering a long-used railway crossing as a right-of-way. This is a matter which transcends party political differences, and I am happy to give this part of his newsletter wider publicity. There may well be former residents of Skewen reading this who have the requisite evidence.

He writes that: some five years ago, Network Rail fenced off the railway that runs south of Skewen, apparently for reasons of safety. By closing off the Cardonnel Halt crossing*, this effectively removed direct access to the Tennant Canal from Skewen.

At that time, Arthur contacted a number of people who, he knew, used the crossing regularly. They submitted a request via Coedffranc Community Council to make the crossing a registered right of way. This would open up the towpath going west from the former Johnson's Yard to the Red Jacket Pill and from there on to Jersey Marine. Network Rail contested the application, arguing that it is not legally possible to register a right of way over a railway line.

The legal team acting on behalf of the County Borough have now come back asking for more evidence. They would like details of the industries that were in the vicinity and when they were active. They also asked for names of those who had used the crossing, for example to gain access to the canal. The barrister representing the council also asked if there were any local history books, railway listing publications or photographs of the site. He also sought the assistance of local historians.

If you have used Cardonnel Halt crossing or have relevant information, please tell Cllr Arthur Davies on 01792 814910 or Mike Workman on 01792 636008. Alternatively, email the author of this blog, and I will pass the details on.

*The crossing is between the lane to Wern Andrew farm and Jenkins Road, which runs parallel to the Tennant Canal below the bridge carrying the A465.

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