Councils work to find a solution to footpath problem in Musselburgh Way, Bourne
‘Positive discussions’ are taking place after it was discovered that parents and their children are walking along the busy bypass because a footpath has not been built.
Taylor Wimpey has built homes in Musselburgh Way, Bourne, before a footpath has been built which would connect the road to the rest of Elsea Park estate.
This means that, at the moment, the only way to access the rest of the estate is to walk around the Raymond Mays Way, or cut through a field.
Lincolnshire county councillor Sue Woolley (Con), representing the Bourne Abbey ward, and South Kesteven district councillor Duncan Ashwell (Con), who represents the Bourne Austerby ward, have both taken up the issue with their respective authorities.
Coun Woolley said the situation was a “ frustratingly unfortunate consequence” of how fast the development was taking shape that the houses had been built, prior to the footpath. The county council is liaising with the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership to find a solution.
Coun Ashwell, who lives on the Elsea Park estate himself and is a member of the Elsea Park Community Trust, said he had made contact with concerned members of the public via a leaflet drop and a Facebook post and said he had been contacted by about 30 people raising concerns.
He said: “This is clearly not an ideal situation but I’m really encouraged by the willingness of both SKDC and Taylor Wimpey to sort it out.”
Coun Ashwell believes there could be a solution by opening up an access way through The Ridings area.
A spokesman for the district council said: “Positive discussions have now taken place between all parties trying to find a workable solution so a footpath can be developed that will benefit all those who live in the community.”
Both Coun Woolley and Coun Ashwell raised it as an issue at the Bourne and Billingborough Neighbourhood Policing Panel, where it was adopted as a policing priority. Officers are monitoring the situation and offering road safety advice.
Bourne Town Council has also been made aware of the situation and discussed it at a meeting last week.
Mayor Philip Knowles said: “Everyone on the town council was concerned about the safety aspects and we agreed to write to the local authorities urgently. It’s just a nonsense that the houses have been built without the infrastructure and I believe strongly there should be no more development until this is rectified.”
Managing director of Taylor Wimpey in the East Midlands Dominic Harman said: “Health and safety is our number one priority and we fully appreciate the need to improve pedestrian links to the school at the earliest opportunity.
“We are working in partnership with SKDC towards this shared objective and, in the meantime, we trust that people understand that we cannot permit public access through our construction site.
“We are conscious of the inconvenience the current situation causes to families and we would like to thank residents for their patience while we work to resolve this as the wider development takes shape.”