WHT letter regarding the state of WGC footpaths

June 29, 2013 12:00 AM
By Cllr Malcolm Cowan
Dear Sir
One of your correspondents last week pointed out the poor condition of some of the footpaths in WGC town centre. The county council's own firgures show that only about 2% of the highways budget goes on footpaths, and at the current rate of progress, each stretch of footpath gets resurfaced about once every 136 years - and no, that is not a mis-print.
So it is hardly surprising our footpaths are in a poor state and have been getting worse over a long period of time. The problem is made worse by the way in which many commercial vehicles mount the footpaths as a matter of course.
Last year, in the first year of highways locality budgets, in which county councillors can decide for themselves where a portion of the highways money is spent, I allocated 50% to town centre footpaths, on 5 schemes in Parkway, Wigmores North and Stonehills, including the new flower beds which are looking so good, and bollards to try to stop damage by vehicles mounting and breaking the pavement.
In the current year, I have already specified another 2 stretches, and expect to add to that shortly; we await the work actually being done.
The other irony is that while all county councillors have residential roads and footpaths to try to maintain, only I amongst WGC councillors have a town centre as well, with no extra money.
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Cowan
County councillor, Handside and Peartree