A MAJOR Buxton road is to be closed for five days next week so work to remove dangerous trees can be carried out.
However, even after the work is completed, the footpath lining the A6 Bakewell Road will still not be re-opened - more than seven months after it was closed on safety grounds.
On Monday, Derbyshire County Council will start work to clear trees which are overhanging on the path. Many of them are diseased or dead and have also caused parts of the wall bordering the footpath to collapse, leading to serious safety fears and the closure of the footpath in November.
The authority say the work is scheduled to last five days and the road will be closed from the Morrisons supermarket to the roundabout at the bottom of Fairfield Road.
But concerns about the safety of the wall along the footpath mean it will remain closed for the foreseeable future - and will not be available as a vantage point for locals lining the streets when the Olympic Torch comes to Buxton on June 29.
The land was sold in 2008 by the county council to a private owner for £10,000. And up to last month, the authority had already spent £8,400 trying to get the landowner to take remedial action.
However, this has been unsuccessful so the cost of the work may fall on council taxpayers until the money can be recouped from the landowner.
Cllr Robin Baldry, who represents the Buxton West ward on the county council, said: “I’m pleased that this work is taking place next week after several months of effort by Derbyshire County Council officers.
“It’s imperative that we safeguard the public which is why this path has been closed for so long.
“I know that the possibility of taxpayers having to foot the bill is not ideal but I’m sure the council will work towards getting the money recovered from the landowner as soon as possible.
“I understand that the road closure will cause problems for local residents but I’m sure that the inconvenience will be for the shortest time possible.”
The closure of the footpath has caused problems for people walking from Fairfield Road to Dale Road and vice versa, particularly those in wheelchairs because the opposite side of the road is too narrow.