Shropshire Council closes popular Ludlow Tollgate footpath – it’s crazy

The footpath between Tollgate Road and Sheet Road past the children’s play area has been blocked off by Shropshire Council. This is madness. An area of the play area fence has fallen because Shropshire Council failed to conduct routine maintenance. The fence is not a danger to users of the path. So why block the path?

The fence collapsed during the week, perhaps due to storm damage or just pushed over. The wooden supports for the fence were rotten at the base and have been for a long while. If someone was pushed towards it in jest, it would have collapsed.

The collapsed area should be closed off with barriers. But that can be done without restricting the footpath.

The fence mid-week
The path blockaded

At first, I though the barriers had been moved by people wanting to use the path. They are heavily weighed down by sandbags and have been deliberately put in place to block the footpath. They haven’t been moved. It is clear that some people have squeezed past the barriers across a muddy patch of ground. That is a health and safety hazard which has been created by Shropshire Council.

There is no signage at the Sheet Road or Tollgate Road ends of the footpath to warn walkers that the path is closed.

This is a major dog walking route. If people don’t want to slip in the rain with their dogs or cannot squeeze through the gap with a shopping trolley, they must reverse their route and travel an additional 650 metres to complete the journey.

While researching this article, I discovered that this footpath is not a legal right of way. It should be. There are a number of paths that are major pedestrian routes in our town that are not rights of way. Ludlow Town Council should act to register these routes as rights of way and ensure they remain open in perpetuity.