£40,000 cost to restore public rights of way across Blackpool

Six  rights of way in Blackpool have been found to be unpassable after an inspection of public footpaths around the borough.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:48 pm

But a council report has warned it would cost around £40,000 to restore the town’s 47 paths to a manageable state.

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Council accused of failing to maintain rights of way in Blackpool

In the meantime action is being taken including advising landowners to carry out work where necessary.

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The entrance to footpath 11 on Preston New Road was among those found to be impassable

More than 20 new footpath signs have been ordered to place around Marton Moss and alongside the path at Blackpool North Shore Golf Club on Devonshire Road.

Issues including missing signs and blocked routes across Blackpool’s 12km of public footpaths were raised by Ken Cridland, a member of the public, when he addressed the council’s tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee in February.

An update report to a meeting of the committee next Wednesday highlights six paths which are currently unpassable, with some closures carried out deliberately to prevent anti-social behaviour.

This includes the closure of a path between Penrose Avenue and Burton Road at the back of Asda.

Footpath 11, which leads from Preston New Road to Marton Mere through Marton Mere Holiday Village, was found to be overgrown with security staff at the caravan park discouraging its use due to the risk of anti-social behaviour.

A path between Eastbank Road and Whalley Lane in Marton has been blocked by residents who have been told to reopen it, while hedge cutting work is needed to reopen paths off Division Lane, Midgeland Road, both Marton, and Ashfield Road in Bispham.

Councils have a statutory duty to maintain public rights of way which includes keeping them in a fit state to use, removing obstructions, adding signs, working with landowners and protecting the public’s right to use paths.

One option the committee could consider is for councillors to use their ward budgets to help fund improvements to public footpaths.

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