Cranbourne lane from the subway to Wessex Close is being blocked to the public by Cranbourne school. Your help is needed to keep this Right of Way open. Cranbourne lane used to be a busy road to Cliddesden, Hatch Warren farm, Farleigh, Preston Candover and beyond.
In 2008 Councillor Hussey asked for this route to be reinstated as a restricted byway, that is open to the public on foot or riding a horse or a bicycle, but not using a motor vehicle.
Your help needed
The investigating officer at Hampshire County Council is now asking for more evidence that Cranbourne lane has always been open to the public. If you use or have used this section of Cranbourne lane, please contact her giving your name and address, the reason for your using this road and when or how often you used this section of road. State why you thought it was permissible (e.g. no notices to prohibit use). Attending or visiting the school does not count, but if you as a teacher or pupil observed the general public going through unhindered this is evidence. We need evidence that the route was used without interruption for at least the last 20 years and that people believed it to be legitimate.
A bit of history
Historically Cranbourne lane was a country road used by locals to come into Basingstoke for the weekly markets, annual fairs, to catch the coach to London, Southampton, Portsmouth or the West Country, do business or attend social gatherings. Then in the last century market gardens were cultivated along the Wessex Close section and later lots of greenhouses were built. The market garden closed in the early 1960-61 and the land was bought by the Borough Council and some of it used for the Cranbourne Bilateral school which opened in 1968. You can see the school marked on the Bennetts town plan map updated 1971. In 1977 the Ringway South was completed with Cranbourne lane going underneath through a tunnel. With the building of the ringway the school blocked the road with gates to stop cars entering the school grounds and parking there when they collected or delivered pupils.
You can see the old maps here.
To-day Cranbourne lane is part of a popular walking and cycling route from Brighton Hill, Viables and the NCN23 cycle route at Viables roundabout to the town centre, BCoT and the railway station. We want it to be officially open for both walking and cycling. To understand more about how Rights of Way are established go here.
To contact Hampshire Council with your evidence emailJenny.Holden-Warren@hants.gov.uk