Funding needed for proposed new footpath linking Bamburgh with caravan park

Parish councillors have selected their preferred option for a proposed footpath linking Bamburgh with a caravan park.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 1:06 am
Bamburgh Parish Council wants to extend a public footpath from Bamburgh to Glororum.

Bamburgh Parish Council wants a footpath to be built along the B1341 Lucker Road, linking the village with Glororum Holiday Park.

Five options with estimated costs between £209,000 and £15,000 were put forward by Northumberland County Council after it carried out and funded a feasibility study.

The middle option costing an estimated £62,000 is favoured by the parish council

At the moment, there is a footpath from the Mizen Head Hotel along the length of one field but it then comes to an end, forcing pedestrians on to the narrow road linking Bamburgh with the A1.

Coun Andrew Bardgett, outlining the situation, said: “Anyone familiar with driving up that road will know about having to dodge around pedestrians, particularly in the summer with people from the caravan site, so we asked for a feasibility study.

“The first option is to extend the footway tarmac path along the whole length of the road which involves taking down the hedge and providing a kerb and footpath, replanting the hedge. That’s the most expensive.

“The second option is to go into the field, at the end of the footway, and run a footpath as opposed to a footway inside the hedge up to the Glororum junction.

“The next option is to go in at the last field before Glororum and around the edge. It's a stock field so if the footpath was on the inside it would need a fence. A dogleg around that brings it probably 50 or 60 yards in from the road junction at Glororum.

“The other alternatives are to use existing footpaths which go across the fields to Dukesfield, which are prone to water-logging, and then there is a farm track up to the Brada quarry. There would be no surface treatments, probably just improving the gates.”

He continued: “We prefer the path that goes along the inside of the hedge and then does a dogleg for a couple of reasons. The footway the whole length is vastly expensive at £209,000, it puts pedestrians right next to the road and involves cutting down all the hedge which is sacrilege really.

“The second option which goes inside the hedge and inside the stock field, which would be a direct route, is £78,000. The one we think is best is £62,000 and the others were £44,000 and £15,000 but they would not be a surface that would be easy to walk on.”

Potential funding sources were discussed and it was agreed to make an approach to local caravan parks to find out if they would be willing to contribute.

The scheme has also been requested for inclusion in Northumberland County Council’s Local Transport Plan and local county councillor Guy Renner-Thompson indicated he may be able to put some of his small schemes funding towards it.

However, chairman Barbara Brook admitted: “It’s going to be a huge undertaking.

“We can’t, as a parish council, pay for the whole lot but we will have to put our hands in our pockets and pay a percentage of it.

“We are keen for it to go ahead and it’s quite exciting to think that we might get something like that coming along which would make it much safer. It would also encourage people to leave their cars.

“The biggest problem is obviously going to be the funding of it. We need to try and find some money to push the scheme forward but it’s going to be a big project.”

A new footpath was also created last year between Bamburgh and Seahouses.