Notorious Hitchin footpath will finally be resurfaced

The uneven pathway off Milestone Road in Hitchin which is now set to be resurfaced.

The uneven pathway off Milestone Road in Hitchin which is now set to be resurfaced. - Credit: Archant

Action is finally set to be taken to resurface a notorious Hitchin footpath after neighbours launched an online “enough is enough” campaign.

Liz Whitelock, Jackie McDonald and Paul Ross launched a fresh drive to sort out the path between Milestone Road and Bedford Road on Friday.

There was confusion last year over whether the path was owned by Herts County Council, North Herts Homes or someone else – but county council contractors have today confirmed that work to rebuild it will start next month.

Ringway divisional manager Kevin Carrol said: “We understand the concerns of residents and pedestrians with the condition of the section of footpath from the side of Saffron House to Bedford Road.

“We want to reassure them that following the complex ownership of this footpath being established late last year, it has been being maintained by the county council.

“We are pleased to confirm that works to reconstruct this section of footpath are planned during the October half term, in the week beginning the October 23. These works will involve replacing the existing concrete slabs with a flexible asphalt surface.

“County councillor David Barnard has also recommended as a priority that the existing steps should be upgraded to a ramp that is compliant with current standards. These works will be funded using the Highways Locality Budget.

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“These works will also be carried out during this week. Any works that cannot be completed that week will be carried over into the next school half term, during February 2018. We would like to thank residents for their patience during this process.”

The alleyway became an issue during last November’s county council by-election for Oughton ward, in which Jackie ran as an independent candidate – losing to Labour’s Martin Stears-Handscomb.

Announcing the campaign in a statement issued on Sunday, Jackie said that Oughton residents were set to mount “a full-scale public campaign of which there will be absolutely no let up until the alleyway is repaired in its entirety”.

She added: “Enough is enough. We absolutely categorially demand that this alleyway is repaired forthwith.”

Liz, Jackie and Paul shot a five-minute video in the alleyway on Friday evening, which has been viewed on social media more than 2,000 times.

Kerry Pateman, of Truemans Road in Hitchin, snapped her Achilles tendon and broke her ankle after tripping on one of the slabs last year. According to Jackie, many other users of the path have also reported accidents there.

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