ANGRY residents in Woodhall Spa have hit out at county council plans to shut one of the area’s most popular footpaths.
The path, which crosses the famous Hotchkin golf course, is under threat as part of a scheme to extend the Spa Trail, which will eventually link Woodhall Spa and Horncastle.
The majority of the trail has already been upgraded to bridleway status and is open to cyclists and horse-riders, as well as walkers.
However, the section across the golf course is a footpath which means cyclists and horse-riders are effectively banned.
As a result, Lincolnshire County Council wants to establish a new bridlepath to the north of the course and could close the existing path.
The decision has provoked a strong protest from walkers, some of who have used the path since the 1930’s.
Judith Haddock, of Horncastle Road, said: “A lot of people feel very strongly about this.
“We are not against the idea of the new section of bridlepath and we can see the benefits it will bring, but why take away the footpath that so many people have enjoyed for so many years?”
Mrs Haddock claimed it made sense from the point of view of safety to “separate” walkers and cyclists who, she said, frequently used the current footpath anyway.
She also said the new bridleway would mean walkers, cyclists and horse-riders would have to use a longer stretch of Sandy Lane which will link the route.
She added: “Sandy Lane is very busy and a lot of lorries use it. There is no footpath but the council is asking people - some of who will have children with them - to walk or ride further along it. It doesn’t make sense.”
Chris Miller, the county council’s countryside access manager, stressed a decision on the future of the path had not been finalised.
He added: “We are currently consulting on plans to extend the Spa Trail and would welcome people’s views on this.
“The consultation ends on October 24 and if any objections are received, the county council do not make the final decision and it will be referred to the Secretary of State.”
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Weather for Horncastle
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 23 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North east