Residents’ plea to make lifeline path safe to use

Doreen Griffiths and Coun Steve Freeman with pensioner Ken Dumford struggling to use the path in Pointon. EMN-170910-161144001
Doreen Griffiths and Coun Steve Freeman with pensioner Ken Dumford struggling to use the path in Pointon. EMN-170910-161144001

The Standard has obtained a pledge from highways officials to clear an overgrown and unsafe path which is a lifeline to villagers, after years of neglect.

Residents of Pointon have been appealing to the county highways department for more than four years to clear the badly overgrown roadside path between Pointon and Billingborough to enable them to safely get to the shops or school or catch a bus.

The path has become so narrow, overgrown and encroached by the grass verge and hedgerows that it is impossible for pushchairs and mobility scooters to use.

Doreen Griffiths, of High Street, Pointon, said people are forced to walk single file, despite the original path beneath being roughly four feet wide. She said parents with pushchairs have to run the gauntlet walking on the busy road, as do elderly on mobility scooters to reach the shops in Billingborough, while parents feel safer driving their children to the local primary schools rather than easing congestion and being ‘green’ by walking.

The encroachment stretches as far as Sempringham and the remaining path is too uneven for scooters to travel safely without risking tipping over.

Parish councillor Steve Freeman has been actively campaigning for the restoration work to be done. He added: “We are due to have South Kesteven District Council’s Big Clean team come along and do ‘grot spots’.”

The parish council will be getting behind the Big Clean on October 13, supplying volunteers with hot drinks at the village hall.

Coun Freeman added: “The path has been on our radar for four years and we understand the team will only focus on the stretch within the village. Cleaning it is only 10 per cent of the job - it will need repairing and rebuilding too and as a long term initiative we would like to see it turned into a cycle path wide enough to take wheelchairs and pushchairs because the road is really fast and dangerous.

“Even if they clean the path you still cannot ride a bike or scooter down it. For us in the village it is a vital link.”

Ms Griffiths added: “I have seen a man with two children and a pushchair having to walk on the road. It gets very muddy in the winter and is a health and safety issue.

“It seems like the village doesn’t exist to the county council.”

Coun Freeman agreed: “I feel the village has been forgotten. We are a very low priority compared to others that have had work done.

“We have tried to get teams of volunteers and borrow equipment in the past, but the county council would not let us due to health and safety.”