Call to action to repair trip hazard footpath in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 April 2017

The footpath after the debris was cleared up.
Picture: Dennis Cowen

The footpath after the debris was cleared up. Picture: Dennis Cowen


An uneven footpath in Park Street, St Albans, has caused consternation for residents concerned that children will trip and hurt themselves.

The footpath before the debris was cleared up.
Picture: Dennis CowenThe footpath before the debris was cleared up. Picture: Dennis Cowen

The footpath, between Penn Road and Spooners Drive, was littered with torn-up paper and surrounded by overgrown hedges, but has now been cleared. However the footpath remains uneven, and Park Street Neighbourhood Watch is urging the county council to take action.

Dennis Cowen, a member of the Neighbourhood Watch and Park Street Residents’ Association, said: “It’s a dog-leg footpath with a double bend in the middle of it, and it’s used by lots of parents taking children to school.

“About 12 months ago the footpath started to become littered with small, torn pieces of paper. It mounted up to a point where we called in the council and asked them if they could install a camera to try and catch who was doing it.”

A few weeks ago a scheme called community payback, run by the probation service, sent eight offenders to sweep up the paper and trim the overgrown hedges. They gathered up two cubic metre sacks of debris, which were taken away by the district council.

Mr Cowen said: “We are left with a footpath which is very uneven. Kids keep tripping up and cutting themselves.

“I asked the county council what they could do about it and they said they couldn’t do anything until they get lots of complaints.

“It really does need resurfacing to protect local citizens and their children from falls and trips.”

Kevin Carrol, divisional manager of Ringway, which works on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are sorry to learn of children tripping on the public footpath here.

“We have received a couple of public reports regarding the condition of the footpath surface here earlier this month. Following inspection some maintenance works to the footway have been identified and are expected to be programmed later this financial year.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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