Published: December 6, 2010
Footpath protesters in Berrow issue fresh appeal for support

Campaigners calling for a new footpath to be introduced along Berrow's Coast Road have this week urged local people to put pressure on Somerset County Council to include the project in its new transport policy.

Their plea comes as Somerset County Council this month starts a public consultation period about its Future Transport Plan, which outlines its transport proposals for the county between the years 2011 to 2026.

Ken May, Chairman of the Berrow Local Action Team, who has been running the long-running campaign to get a footpath along Coast Road as a safety measure, has urged local people to seize the opportunity of telling the council why a footpath is needed using the county council's feedback website here.

He told "We're appealing to people in the Berrow and Burnham area to write in to the county council expressing their concern that the Coast Road footpath has not yet been introduced."

"We need as many people as possible to support us by writing in to the show the strength of feeling - there is hope that we can secure the funding by getting the path included in the Future Transport Plan."

Ken, pictured on the right at a protest earlier this year, added: "Berrow Local Action Team has been campaigning for several years to get the missing section of the Coast Road footway completed. Historically, funding was allocated from the County Council budget for completion of the missing section."

"But for whatever reason, which was never explained, the funding was appropriated elsewhere and the footpath has not been completed largely due to the central government guidelines."

"The Future Transport Plan for Somerset now gives you the opportunity to address this issue and finally complete this last section of footpath. We sincerely believe that this unresolved issue should be very high, if not at the very top, of priorities."

He added that Avon and Somerset Constabulary is actively supporting the residents by endorsing the campaign through their PACT programme.

"Immense support for this issue has been demonstrated by the residents, visitors and politicians who have actively participated in our protest walks conducted recently."

"There have been several minor injury accidents to pedestrians along Coast Road, but to date none life-threatening or fatal. The volume of traffic in the holiday season has to be seen to be believed, with in excess of 70,000 holidaymakers in Berrow and Brean during the peak weeks. We believe that a footpath is absolutely essential and to fail to provide one is a neglect of care and duty."

The County Council is inviting feedback via its website before the consultation period closes on January 7th 2011.


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