Leigh school submits plans to divert public footpath

The footpath runs between the upper and lower schools

The footpath runs between the upper and lower schools

First published in News

A LEIGH high school has submitted plans to divert a public footpath.

Bedford High School, in Manchester Road, wants to redirect public footpath 139 so that it no longer runs between the buildings of its lower and upper schools.

As reported previously in the Journal, the school began erecting gates along the path in September following concerns about pupils' safety, without the necessary permission from Wigan Council.

Head teacher Helen Phillips said: "The concerns raised stem from the original plan to close the footpath and both the school and the local authority have listened to such concerns and acted upon them. As a consequence we have changed the plans to close the path into the diversion so these initial objections no longer apply.

"We appreciate that this is a popular footpath which is why both the school and the council have considered the options extremely carefully. The solution we have come up with is to divert the path so it no longer runs through the centre of the school but the start and end points will remain the same, so for the casual user, very little will change. "

But one resident who regularly uses the footpath is unhappy about the plans. "There is no justification for the path's closure, and as far as I am aware there have been no accidents on this stretch," he said.

The plans can be viewed at Leigh Life Centre. Any objections must be submitted by April 4.

Comments (1)

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9:27am Sat 22 Mar 14

Johnboy59 says...

These plans are unacceptable UK government regulations states on their website the following:-

Changing a public right of way

Local councils can:
Make new routes - where they think there’s a need

Get rid of a route - if it can be shown that there’s no longer a need for it, or to prevent crime (eg if it is allowing robbery or drug dealing to take place)

Change the route temporarily or permanently - but only if the new route is just as convenient

As none of the above criteria has been met, and the new route is almost entirely on School land, and crosses their playing fields, and is nearly three times the length of the 225 year old current path, it is hardly a convenient alternative.

The school and the council have failed to give reasons for their continued desire to close and divert path 139, leading us to assume they have a wider plan for the site, especially regarding the playing fields.
These plans are unacceptable UK government regulations states on their website the following:- Changing a public right of way Local councils can: Make new routes - where they think there’s a need Get rid of a route - if it can be shown that there’s no longer a need for it, or to prevent crime (eg if it is allowing robbery or drug dealing to take place) Change the route temporarily or permanently - but only if the new route is just as convenient As none of the above criteria has been met, and the new route is almost entirely on School land, and crosses their playing fields, and is nearly three times the length of the 225 year old current path, it is hardly a convenient alternative. The school and the council have failed to give reasons for their continued desire to close and divert path 139, leading us to assume they have a wider plan for the site, especially regarding the playing fields. Johnboy59
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