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‘Why a six-month wait for footpath fix?’

Cllr John Sayers outside the Tarentella in Sudbury where plans have just been approved to turn it into flats ANL-140429-173015009

Cllr John Sayers outside the Tarentella in Sudbury where plans have just been approved to turn it into flats ANL-140429-173015009

A Sudbury woman is fuming over the closure of a well-used public footpath that will be out of use for more than six months.

Mary Roberts from Newton Croft said she does not understand why it will take months to carry out the repairs on the footpath – which runs from Newton Road to Cornard Road - also known as Footpath 11.

The path, which runs alongside Sainsbury’s supermarket, was closed in May over safety fears.

It will stay closed while it is examined by Suffolk County Council engineers after concerns about the stability of the ground.

The path connects Newton Road and Cornard Road, and Mrs Roberts said it now takes her half an hour to walk to Sainsbury’s, where it used to take five minutes using the footpath.

She said: “The residents of Newton Croft and surrounding area are disgusted at the decision to keep this very important footpath closed.

“It is a very essential link for all of us and is denying a lot of people their pleasure and convenience.”

She said she read a public notice last week which confirmed it would be closed until February 9 next year or later, but she would like to the council to rethink “this unacceptable decision”.

She added: “We are apparently waiting a report on safety from Patrick Scrivens from Suffolk County Council about using the footpath.

“This should have happened by now, but we now read that it is intended to keep the footpath closed until February.

“I would like to know why it will take such a long time.

“Meanwhile, we all take our life in our hands down Ingrams Well Road, which we are told is an alternative route. Cars are double-parked, and there is no pavement.”

Mrs Roberts also questioned the use of taxpayers’ money on building two metal fences, one at either end of the pathway.

“These must have cost thousands of pounds which could have been spent on repairing the footpath.”

County councillor John Sayers said he was looking into the closure of the footpath and was raising the issue with his county council colleagues.

“I know the residents there are very unhappy about it and have got up a petition,” he said.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said concerns were raised about the stability of the ground while recent improvement works were being carried out on the path and the council was waiting for an investigation to the completed.

He said: “It was only when we were recently carrying out remedial works on the path that it became apparent that an area of settlement was far worse than originally thought and there was ‘slumping’ in a couple of areas on the eastern slope.”

He said the reason for the path having to be closed off until next year was because it required complex investigation.

He said: “These complex investigations involve Geotechnical surveys – the data drawn from these surveys will then be evaluated and assessed.

“This is obviously something which is being contracted to experts in that field, as we don’t have geotechnical expertise within the council.

“It also involves a number of interested parties, so the process of determining the future of the footpath will take time.”

 

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