No quick fix for Sudbury footpath

Residents are disgusted at the decision by Suffolk County Council to close a footpath that runs from Newton Croft to Cornard Road. It will be closed until 9th February.                              FL; Resident Mary Roberts with Cllr John Sayers and other residents who used the footpath constantly. ANL-140508-165817009
Residents are disgusted at the decision by Suffolk County Council to close a footpath that runs from Newton Croft to Cornard Road. It will be closed until 9th February. FL; Resident Mary Roberts with Cllr John Sayers and other residents who used the footpath constantly. ANL-140508-165817009
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Councillors have been warned not to expect a speedy resolution to the issues preventing a popular footpath from reopening in Sudbury.

Footpath 11, which passes alongside Sainsbury’s supermarket linking Newton Road and Cornard Road, was closed in May after investigations revealed stability issues with the soil under the path and was closed for fears of public safety.

Suffolk County Council have, until now, remained coy over the exact action being taken, with engineers carrying out detailed surveys of the ground before a course of action could be found.

On Tuesday members of the highways and footpaths committee at Sudbury Town Council were hoping for positive answers from Glyn French, the west area’s right of way manager for Suffolk County Council, but were disappointed when they were told “there is no guarantee it will be resolved before February”.

As part of the Sainsbury’s development £55,000 was given by the company for improvements to the footpath.

However, Mr French said the county council may ask for further funds if it turned out Sainsbury’s failed to implement recommended improvements to the stability of the area when they were building the supermarket.

This confirmation, along with the full results of the stability survey carried out by the council, is needed before a plan of action can be made for the path, meaning it could be several months before it is reopened.

After Mr French explained possible ideas of a walkway over the path at the Cornard Road end, committee member Jan Osborne said at the meeting: “The message I’m getting is that it will be open again at some point.”

Mr French refused to guarantee the path would reopen, but hoped it would, before the February deadline for the path’s closure.

Residents at the meeting were vocal in their anger at the lack of a clear conclusion to the issue, claiming the current alternative, following Ingrams Well Road, was “unsafe”.