Coffins carried to highlight need for safe footpath

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 March 2014

The Coffin Lane procession.

The Coffin Lane procession.

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A DEMONSTRATION held to call for a footpath between a Somerset village and a nearby town was attended by around 150 people at the weekend.

Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.

Plans for a path from Cross Corner on the A38 and A371 junction to nearby Axbridge were first drawn up 50 years ago.

The scheme never went ahead and residents from Cross and Compton Bishop restarted the campaign last summer.

The only footpath currently starts as a track through a field before exiting onto a narrow grass verge along the busy A371.

Residents of the villages and Axbridge carried 
banners and replica coffins along the route and the campaign has received support from MP Tessa Munt, Compton Bishop Parish Council and Axbridge Town Council.

Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.

Organiser Tess Gill said: “Everyone was really pleased because I don’t think there have been 
many processions like this one through Axbridge before.

“There had been a lot of positive feelings about it, but we didn’t know how people would feel about publicly demonstrating that.

“The path will be absolutely key. We will really be using it.

“We have to go up to Axbridge all the time for shops and services as there is nothing closer and people are keen not to get in their cars.

Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.Demonstration for a new footpath from Axbridge to Cross.

“Not everyone has a car but they don’t want to risk their lives, so it’s really important.”

The Axbridge Singers, who have come up with a specially-written song called A Safe Path To Cross, were among those taking part while Josh Walker, aged 20, walked the whole way on stilts.

The campaigners hope to sit down with Somerset County Council’s right of way team to discuss the way forward.

The coffin lane campaign was named as the 
original footpath was used for the transport of coffins from a workhouse in Compton Bishop until 1897.


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