December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 11, 2013
People living on a village road set to get a new footpath say they are afraid it will narrow the highway and lead to traffic accidents.
Earlier this month parish councillors at Bradfield near Manningtree gave approval for a £100,000 footpath to be built along Steam Mill Road – the village’s main thoroughfare.
At the moment pedestrians have to walk on the side of the road and there have been hopes a footpath could be constructed for a number of years. Now Tendring Local Highways Panel have allocated the funding from their 2013/2014 budget and the parish council has given the scheme the green light.
But there are concerns the four foot-wide path will take up too much of the road, and plans to remove the white line down the middle have exacerbated fears about road safety.
Dennis Hawes, who lives on the road, said: “After the footpath is built, the road will be too narrow for lorries, farm vehicles and buses to pass each other. This could be a particular problem at night when they won’t be able to see the markings. It could lead to vehicles having to ride up on the path and endanger pedestrians.”
Mr Hawes says a safer option would be to build the path on the north side of the road rather than the south side as is planned. But the engineer responsible for designing the scheme has advised that this would be too costly and involve relocating telegraph poles and the compulsory purchase of land.
The parish council’s position is they would rather have a narrower road with a footpath than a wider one without a designated place for pedestrians.
Chairman Harold Mousley said: “The footpath has been on the agenda for some time. We had an opportunity to take a decision and we have decided on an option we feel is most appropriate for the village.”