In February, Gloucestershire County Council instructed all volunteers to stop any repair/improvement work that involves digging holes. This seems to result from policy changes by its Rights of Way contractor Amey. This in turn seems to have been triggered by a serious incident in 2015 in the centre of Gloucester. The requirement seems to be for a full document review and scan of every digging site, even if it is the middle of a field. Just how this can possibly be applied in practice is unclear – Gloucestershire are apparently considering their position.
In the meantime two projects on routes supported by the CWA, one on the Cotswold Way near Belas Knapp and one on the Winchcombe Way are being held back.
We are very unclear as to the logic of the action – if you are baffled and annoyed by it and live in Gloucestershire we suggest you ask your council representative to explain. In March, Amey insist any holes are scanned for underground services with a permit issued for 21 days. The cost for scanning holes will come out of the Rights of Way budget.