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Calls to cut back cycle path between Wells and Dulcote

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: September 01, 2012

The cycle path between Wells and Dulcote as it is now

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The condition of the cycle path between Wells and Dulcote is forcing children to take a route that "is not safe for children", according to one mother.

When querying whether the overgrown path would be cut back Sharon Hendry, from Dinder, was told that the development of the former Clares factory site meant that the path should have been closed.

She was also informed that the route was designated as a footpath and that she and her 10-year-old son had been breaking the law by riding their bikes along it.

It has since been established that the route is in fact not only a cyclepath but part of the National Cycle Network and that a footpath has been diverted due to Health and Safety issues with the construction work of the Morrisons new store.

While Ms Hendry is relieved that she has not been inadvertently making a criminal out of her son it does not make the cyclepath any more passable or provide an alternative route while the development forces its closure.

Ms Hendry told the Journal: "For the residents of Croscombe, Dinder and Dulcote, this path, which is clearly sign-posted for cycle use, is the only access into Wells if the fast and busy main road is to be avoided.

"This is obviously a major factor for those of us with young children.

"The path has become almost inaccessible and an attempt to cycle it the other day with my son resulted in us both emerging covered in stinging nettle lesions.

"The fact that the path has been allowed to fall into such an unkempt state is neglectful and an insult to tax payers who at the very least expect to be able to move freely along major paths and byways."

A spokesman for Somerset County Council could not give a specific time for when the hedgerows and nettles would be trimmed.

They said: "We can confirm that the path from the old factory to Dulcote, is definitely a cycleway and part of the National Cycle Network – NCN 3 to be exact.

"There are no plans to permanently close it but there are plans to cut the grass and brambles when the wildlife has departed the hedgerows, in the autumn, budget permitting."

Ms Hendry remains unimpressed.

"As a nation, we are continually being encouraged to get out of our cars and get fit. If this is the best our local government can do to help us then we might as well forget it.

"I returned to Somerset, where I grew up, two years ago after living in London for 15 years.

"Boris Johnson has made cycling in the capital a joy to behold. How ridiculous that the same policies are not being pursued in the countryside, where cycling is much better suited.

"If local government officers in this county don't want to be seen as country bumpkins in comparison to their city counterparts, it's about time they started pedalling with the times."

Do you think that our cycle and footpaths are adequately maintained?

Please send your views to Editor, Wells Journal, Southover, Wells, Somerset BA5 1UH, or you can email editor@midsomnews.co.uk.

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  • ChaniMoon  |  September 08 2012, 11:16AM

    The section of path Ms Hendry is talking about shouldn't need to be closed by the Morrisons development; it's quite some distance away from where the work is happening. It does need clearing though, and the footpath itself could probably do with a new layer of gravel. Years of leaf litter means it gets very muddy, and it takes a long time to dry. The very end of that section (the Wells end) is a mud-bath which reaches very nearly all the way across the path.