Residents launch campaign to keep 'lifeline' path

Residents are campaigning to keep a well-used shortcut close to their Knottingley homes open, saying it provides a ‘lifeline’ for many.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 7:00 am
Maureen Sidaway, James Jackson and June Foster are campaigning to keep the path open.

A petition has been launched and steps are being taken to ensure that the unofficial path that runs from Redmayne Grove through to Pontefract Road remains in place.

Fears are growing that the walkway could be fenced off following questions raised over the ownership of the thin stretch of land.

But residents of Redmayne Grove, many of which are elderly, say that closing the path would leave many cut off.

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The path is well used, according to residents.

Without the shortcut, they would have to take a 20 minute detour around Warren Avenue, which is steep in places, to reach Pontefract Road where the main bus routes run.

Resident June Foster said: “I have been here 27 years and I have looked after it, we’ve kept it clean and cut it. I go down every week with a grabber and a black bin liner to clear up the litter.

“A lot of elderly people use it, it’s a lifeline because they can’t get up Warren Avenue, it’s too steep. If it was to close, people might have to move.

“We always assumed it was the council’s land, but it’s not registered, so we want to fight for it and do it the right way.

“If we can prove that people have used it all these years then the council could adopt it.”

Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s service director for environment and property, hinted that there is chance the path could remain in place.

He said: “The route isn’t a public right of way but we understand the frustrations regarding this.

“Information has been sent to local residents asking them to submit evidence regarding the use of the land. We will also be contacting the landowner for their evidence.

“If evidence demonstrates that the public have used the route for over 20 years without the landowner taking action to stop that use, then an order may be made to record those rights.”

The residents are now gathering evidence that the path is used regularly to support their case, including its use a century ago when workers from a nearby windmill would regularly take the shortcut.

Anyone wanting to sign the online petition can click here.