SUTTON BRIDGE PARISH COUNCIL: Amputee’s call for path improvement
A wheelchair user has asked Sutton Bridge Parish Council to “get some muscle behind” his call for a footpath in the village to be improved.
Amputee Peter Summers claimed the 1.4-mile footpath along East Bank was suffering from a “lack of maintenance” which resulted in overgrown verges and debris which effectively narrowed the footpath itself.
The debris and mud, as well as cuttings from trees, bushes and grass, gets compacted down which has caused the footpath to become narrower and narrower over the years
In a letter to parish councillors, Peter added that a wheel on his wheelchair had to be replaced after two spokes were damaged by debris on the footpath.
Peter said: “The upkeep of the footpath that was once the old A17 from East Bank to the corner of Sutton Road has always been a problem.
“Twice a year, a tractor comes and cuts some of the brambles, tree branches and grass verges on either side of the footpath.
“But every time they cut the verges, debris left behind is never cleaned up and the actual tractor itself produces a lot of mud which often causes an obstruction on the footpath itself.
“The debris and mud, as well as cuttings from trees, bushes and grass, gets compacted down which has caused the footpath to become narrower and narrower over the years.
“If you look at the footpath from either end, it doesn’t look too bad.
“But if you go down the whole footpath, you will find that it’s been reduced to such a degree that I can’t get my wheelchair through it.”
Peter explained to parish councillors that the footpath was also used by joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers who regarded it as “a means of exercise and fresh air as it is flat and straight”.
He added: “There aren’t many places where I can get in a wheelchair and go down a very well-used, popular and straight track used by many other people.
“But it led to the damage of two spokes on my wheelchair when two large twigs, along with the debris on the footpath, got stuck in one of the wheels and led to it having to be replaced.
“This damage could have been prevented if the footpath hadn’t have been neglected over the years.
“But if we can get some muscle behind it, we might actually be able to get something done.”
Parish councillors agreed to write to county highways officers asking for the footpath to be maintained properly.