Ken Brockway, Footpath Inspector
This article is from Signpost 64, Summer 2020
Our highway authority rights of way officers are working from home and are snowed under with emails they can do little about. Complaints from path users of illegal signs stating 'Path Closed' and landowners pressing the HA highway authorities to close paths which are being heavily used. It's good to hear that the rights of way network is being used for the exercise that we are encouraged and allowed to take. Although some, as always press the rules to the limit and beyond. Nothing new there.
We are also required to maintain social distancing and this will be a challenge on those busy and enclosed paths. I'm reminded of my last good walk returning to Edale along FP37 from wide open spaces the last few yards is fenced and narrow. Just one of so many such examples.
As I write the World Health Organisation is stating that measures to combat the spread of this virus will be with us for a very long time, masks and social distancing could become the norm not a short term solution. So I put these two observations together and what do I conclude. Footpaths are too narrow to be used safely if we can't distance ourselves from other users. Well perhaps we can't do much about existing paths except the approach used on narrow sections of roads, 'traffic lights'. But we should be looking to ensure that any new path, is safe to use and offers a minimum width. I will leave it to the experts to tell us what that should be.
|Page title:||Beyond Covid-19|
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