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Onehouse ‘celebrates’ golden anniversary of ‘dangerous’ footpath campaign

Mark Westley PhotographY
Onehouse Stowmarket, parish council celebrating 50th Anniversary of trying to get a footpath at the end of the village. ANL-140730-210009009

Mark Westley PhotographY Onehouse Stowmarket, parish council celebrating 50th Anniversary of trying to get a footpath at the end of the village. ANL-140730-210009009

A Suffolk village is ‘celebrating’ the golden anniversary of a campaign to get a new footpath on a ‘dangerous’ stretch of road.

The stretch, on Forest Road inOnehouse, links a bridleway and new cyclepath to Stowmarket and is well used by pedestrians including children and young mums.

Onehouse Parish Council first brought the issue to the attention of Suffolk County Council in 1964 but have not had any luck getting a footpath installed.

Mother-of-three Charlotte Gould walks with her children along the road every day.

“It is not ideal to be walking children down there,” she said.

“We have them in hi-vis jackets and light them up like a Christmas tree in winter.

“You get a lot of parents going to Wood Ley Primary School down that road because the school hasn’t got a bus services.

“You rarely drive down there without seeing pedestrians - there is a lot of footfall.”

Arlene Cruickshanks was chairman of the parish council between 1999 and 2005.

She said: “I started as chairman 15 years ago and this was one of the first issues I dealt with as chairman.

“It is a dangerous road to walk on and has been an issue for years. We did various things to get it done but there’s always another excuse.”

“It has just gone on and on and on.”

Current chairman, Ron Raisey, said: “This has obviously been dragging on for too long. I only hope in 10 years’ time we won’t be celebrating our diamond anniversary.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “In 2012, the county council was able to create a surfaced bridleway providing an off-road link from the driveway of Chilton Leys on Forest Road into Stowmarket.

“The bridleway is well used, in particular by children going to Stowmarket High School.

“Funding was not available to create the final link from the driveway of Chilton Leys westwards to connect to the existing footway on Forest Road.

“A number of options were investigated, including creating a bridleway on the roadside verge or in the adjacent field. As the verge between the road and ditch is too narrow and the landowner is not willing to release the land, these options are not viable.

“The option of piping and converting the ditch into a path is a possibility, if funding can be identified.

“The county council would be happy to consider re-opening discussions with the landowner, if funding can be identified.”

 

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