Wormhill footpath “too dangerous” to walk on

What was once a full width pavement reduced to a few inches, Wormhill parish council clerk Barry Peirson and chairman Derek Udale
What was once a full width pavement reduced to a few inches, Wormhill parish council clerk Barry Peirson and chairman Derek Udale
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Parish councillors have hit out at the county council for neglecting the only footpath in their village, claiming it has become too dangerous to walk on.

Wormhill and Green Fairfield Parish Council said they had been asking Derbyshire County Council to the repair the footway, which runs through Hassop Farm, opposite Wormhill Hall, towards Flag Dale and Wormhill Springs for some time.

Clerk to the council Barry Peirson said: “This problem has been going on for at least five years. Each time when we ask about it, we get told: ‘Wait until the next financial year’. Now it appears to be on the back burner. Enough is enough, something needs to be done now.”

In a letter to the council area maintenance manager Glyn Dutton in September, he said the footpath had become a hazard and in correspondence last month, he wrote: “Not only is it very narrow, extremely uneven to the extent that it is a wonder that someone has not tripped up and broken a limb, it is also subject to flooding.”

Cllr Derek Udale, parish chairman, agreed, saying: “This footpath is used daily, not only by village folk but also many visitors to the village.

“At present, we have several families with very young children and in parts this footpath is only six inches wide, uneven, making it very dangerous for parents with youngsters, a pram or trolley plus toddlers plodding along, not to mention our elderly residents to walk or be pushed in a wheelchair safely without stepping onto the highway, which is incidentally a 40-mile-an-hour limit.

“This footpath is in a conservation village and is not fit for purpose. It’s not wheelchair or pram / trolley friendly. We have asked for site meetings with officers to no avail.

“This council is under pressure to have this footpath reinstated to an acceptable standard, our rate payers demand it, as we have had and are still receiving numerous complaints.”

He added that in parts the path was “non-existent” and residents were not able to walk safely through Wormhill.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “The council is facing budget cuts of £157 million by 2018 so we have to focus our limited resources where the need is greatest.

“We’ll consider removing some of the vegetation in the spring to help widen the path for users and will deal with any hazardous defects, such as potholes, which may occur, as and when required.”