Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wymington Footpaths & Network Rail - Update

Wymington Footpath No. 5 still cannot be used over the railway lines - see 13th January post.

Network Rail asked Bedford Borough Council to temporarily close FP5. When the Council refused, Network Rail closed the path anyway; that is, wilfully and unlawfully erected barriers to prevent the public from using the path. The Council has been aware of this since December (a month earlier than I thought) yet the path remains closed.

I have asked the Council to have the obstructions removed.

Highway law does not seem to apply as it should to footpaths in Bedford Borough so the chances are that the public will not be permitted to walk the obstructed part of FP5 in the near future – if ever!

What does it matter? A lot! Here’s one of the reasons:

The New Inn, Wymington
I met a couple by chance last month at the The New Inn, Wymington. Having consulted an Ordnance Survey map the couple had devised a circular walk and were in Wymington to further their plan for a U3A walking group’s day out scheduled for February. They wanted to book lunch at the pub for 20 walkers travelling from Cambridgeshire but decided against when finding out (from me) that part of their route wasn’t available.
The New Inn has lost twenty new customers. It’s a nice pub, nice enough to attract repeat visits. It has other attributes, a decent car park for instance, so others might have been encouraged to visit. The Council’s and Network Rail’s careless attitude has cost the local economy. It could have been worse. The walking group might not, as is often the case, have found out that their path wasn’t available until the day.

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