Gonville and Caius College have blocked yet another riverside path in Cambridge.
I reported in 2015 how they blocked access to a riverside path near Fen Ditton, that path has now been re-opened, but they’ve now installed a new gate, and put a lock and chain on another gate, on the riverside path in-front of their boathouse off Ferry Path opposite Midsummer Common.
Speaking at the Cambridge North Area Committee on the 2nd of March 2017 Liberal Democrat Councillor Damien Tunnacliffe said:
It is a high priority for me to get that gate unlocked because [there are] a lot of local people who walk along the river bank there who now can’t and I’m dealing with it as a matter of urgency.
The college have offered to make the code for the gate available to local residents; however that means it will be available only to a well connected elite.
— Richard Taylor (@RTaylorUK) March 2, 2017
I think that blocking riverside access isn’t a very community spirited move; in particular it may cause problems for those accompanying those learning to scull along the bank, as well as those who simply enjoy a walk by the river or who like to take a traffic free short-cut.
The gate is unlocked while the boathouse is staffed.
I have suggested that councillors ask their rights of way officers to comprehensively review access along the river and ensure all rights of way, and permissive access arrangements, are properly recorded. It’s important that established rights of way are recorded in advance of the cut-off date of 1st January 2026 set in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 after which all unregistered historic rights of way will be “extinguished”.
Interestingly despite Caius being pronounced “keys”, it is the neighbouring Peterhouse boathouse which has keys on its boathouse and flags as a result of its rowing club for ex-members being called the Cross Keys Boat Club.