Campaigners 'disappointed' by right of way ruling

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 March 2018

Coffin Lane campaigners

Coffin Lane campaigners

Archant

Campaigners have had a claim to get part of a footpath between Axbridge and Cross recognised as a public right of way rejected by Somerset County Council.

The Coffin Lane Campaign was set up by villagers who are concerned about the safety of pedestrians walking in the ‘dangerous’ Cross Lane.

Members want to see a partially complete footpath the other side of a hedge which runs along the road extended, but the county council’s regulation committee has dismissed their claim the missing section is a public right of way.

Campaign co-ordinator Tess Gill said: “We are disappointed by this decision.

“We believe we had a strong claim based on evidence of local residents they have been using this route across the field to avoid the dangers of walking down Cross Lane for more than 20 years without challenge.

“We have 28 days to decide whether to appeal and will be consulting our members.”

However the group has praised the council for progress it has made to plans to create a refuge in the A38 and extension of the footpath on the outside of the hedge.

MORE: Residents call for action to be taken on Coffin Lane

Both of these projects are due to be carried out in the next financial year.

Ms Gill added: “We will be working with the council to ensure this work is carried out as soon as possible.

“While it will not be as safe as a path on the inside of the hedge, provided it is wide enough and properly surfaced it will be very much safer than the dangerous Cross Lane.

“With the increasing heavy traffic including numerous lorries carrying aggregates and other goods, the dangers for pedestrians and cyclists is getting worse all the time.

“It is our priority to get this work done as soon as possible.”

Campaigners are also working with landowners to improve the condition of the surface and stiles along the footpath to make it accessible in all weathers.

They also want fencing installed to keep walkers away from livestock in the neighbouring fields.

A survey carried out last year showed 80 per cent of Cross and Compton Bishop residents believe Cross Lane is unsafe.

Click here for more information on the campaign.

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