I have written about Open Spaces Society’s promotion of a wide grassy route through the new development between Tonteg and the Church Village by-pass on a few occasions since March 2013. Then, the fields and footpaths were a short cut through to the shops on Main Road, and mainly a walkers’ and children’s place for dogs and dens.
There have been Temporary Footpath Closure Order on this path renewed, and next a proposal to extinguish the path in the estate. I replied:
“Open Spaces Society will oppose any application to extinguish the footpath through this site. Throughout the planning process for this development, OSS has supported the Rights of Way Officer in seeking to maintain a right of way of adequate width within green space in order to avoid a significant loss of enjoyment by users. ….. I believe this is in line with the Local Access Forum’s views on encouraging non-car travel including to shops.”
I would prefer to have the footpath remain, with a cycleway separated from it. This would keep the permanent footpath on the Definitive Map, whereas a cycleway is on streets and not the Definitive Map, and is easy to extinguish. I walked through the estate to have a look on the ground. Here is the new way down the field, and it is a nice broad pavement with greenery, although it runs beside a road.
The estate roads beside the pavement path are narrow, and not everyone likes to park their shiny car on a narrow road. Furthermore, I fear for the maintaining of the pavement for walking, because once the roads are made up to the height of the drains, the kerbs will be low enough for a car to drive over easily.
People are not waiting for the roads to be made up to park on the pavements, even while many houses are empty. This not the right place to be extinguishing rights of way.
It got worse at the top of the path, where we met people trying to get through to buy teabags from the Co-op on the main road in Tonteg (over a mile round without this path). The arrow shows where the path should access The Ridings and I can only hope that the very permanent looking fence will be removed, eventually when the developer feels like it.
This is the same path when the developer moved in and I had high hopes of a broad green swathe and not a wide pavement.