RAF footpath closed due to ‘terror threat’

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A 200-year-old right of way through an RAF base has finally been closed after the Ministry of Defence took action when it was spotted on a map.

Officials at RAF Wittering applied to Peterborough City Council to close the right of way after the discovery was made in 2009.

The official reason for the closure of the footpath, known as Wittering footpath number nine, is the threat of terrorism and the need to keep the base secure.

The path runs across Ministry of Defence land between Townsend Road and the A1.

Ramblers who had wanted to use the right of way would have had to be escorted across the base by guards.

A temporary order has now been issued to stop people using the path.

It will remain in force until the Ministry of Defence relinquishes the land or no longer requires the order.

Officers at the base say that the right of way is never used and that there is a quicker path running alongside the base.

A spokesman said: “We can’t have a military base guarded and have it open to the public to wander through.”

The move has been supported by Wittering Parish Council chairman Dick Roffe.

He said that the right of way has existed for 200 years.

He said: “My personal opinion is that it is passed its usefulness.

“There is another option, you can walk around.

“I think it makes good sense to provide a good safe and secure environment for our troops

“We made no objection.”

The camp became a secure base in the 1970s and 1980s due to the threat posed by the IRA.