Work is set to start later this spring to reopen the riverside path in Batheaston, following lobbying by the area’s local Conservative councillors.
The public footpath follows the northern bank of the River Avon in Batheaston. However, the path has been closed since the end of February for safety reasons due to cracks appearing in the surface and a short section of the path partially subsiding into the river.
However, following calls by local councillors Martin Veal and Geoff Ward, the Council has confirmed that, subject to the consent of the Environment Agency, work to repair the path should start later this spring so that it can be safely reopened to the public.
The Council has earmarked funding within its capital programme to enable the work to be undertaken and it is hoped that it will be possible to secure the necessary consent and procurement processes to enable a contractor to start work on the path in April.
Councillor Martin Veal (Cons, Bathavon North) said:
“The Batheaston riverside path is well-used by local people and visitors alike. The Council obviously did the right thing in temporarily closing the path in the interests of public safety, but it’s important that everything is done to reopen this popular footpath as soon as possible. I’m therefore very pleased that officers have moved quickly to identify what work needs to take place to reopen the path to the public. Hopefully, once necessary consent from the Environment Agency is secured, work on the path can start in April to ensure the path is reopened by the end of spring.
“There have been reports that some people have been removing the barriers and continuing to walk along this stretch of the path. To protect your own safety, we would urge people not to try using this path until the repair work is complete.”
As well as the work to reopen the damaged section of pathway, the Council has also carried out an initial inspection of the remainder of the footpath and will be carrying out remedial works to another much smaller section of the footpath. Whilst the inspection did not suggest that other sections of the path were immediately at risk, the nature and location of the path means that it is particularly susceptible to erosion, and so the Council has said it will continue to monitor the situation.