Park run on track following access concerns

Tripped up: Park run almost failed to get started due to council questions
Tripped up: Park run almost failed to get started due to council questions
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Plans for a new ‘park run’ – half funded with council cash – was thrown into jeopardy by the same authority’s refusal to allow anything other than a short trial run.

A park run group came up with plans for a weekly event in Penistone, taking in the boundary of the town’s showground as well as a stretch of the Trans Pennine Trail, putting in £3,000 along with an agreement from the Penistone Ward Alliance to provide an equivalent amount.

The alliance uses a budget provided by Barnsley Council and is a body made up of councillors and other active members of society, to fund work in the locality which improves the community.

However, it has emerged that Barnsley Council declined a trial for the event of anything more than eight weeks, later extending that to 12 weeks, when the group behind the idea insist it is viable only if it is given a 12 months trial.

Details of the situation emerged at a meeting of Penistone Area Council, a body which is made of councillors who also sit on the ward alliance.

They were told there were concerns from Barnsley Council’s rights of way staff about using the Trans Pennine Trail, which at that point follows the route of the old Woodhead railway line through Penistone, because it is a shared access route which could put a large group of runners together with horse riders and other trail users.

Coun Hannah Kitching said details of a similar event in Derbyshire, which also used a shared access route, had now been put to rights of way staff in Barnsley and she hoped the situation would be resolved: “The organisers thought they had come across a block from the rights of way team. I think it is being smoothed out,” she said.

Coun Dave Griffin said he believed the run – which would take place over 40 minutes on each Saturday morning – could be a success with good marshalling.