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In the October 2016 edition of its monthly online magazine “Borough Monthly”, Bedford Borough Council informs us that:
“The Council has launched a new online tool for reporting issues on roads and foot paths [sic] around the Borough. The new ReportIt [naff for report it] tool allows residents to report a number of issues quickly and easily online, including:
Drainage and flooding
Grass, hedges, trees and weeds
Snow, ice and gritting
Signage and lines
It’s a pretty neat system. CheckIt (sorry) out HERE
However, when they say “foot paths” (there’s no such thing by the way) they don’t mean public footpaths because they along with the other types of public rights of way (public bridleways etc) are not included as a “required field” which must be completed when submitting a report. And they don’t mean “footways” which is the correct term for pavements which is listed. For some reason only eleven of the twelve available fields are listed in the article - “Bridges” having been omitted.
There are lots of problems on public rights of way and the procedure enabling the public to report them should be improved. Improvements have been promised but they are a long time coming so it seems a lost opportunity to me that it’s not part of this new system. I interpret this as yet more evidence that public rights of way are not really on the council’s list of things that it thinks about a lot or at least as much as it should because it has a legal duty to look after them.