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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Residents react angrily after road to Barrow coastal path blocked

RESIDENTS have reacted angrily after a road leading to a Barrow coastal path was blocked.

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GATE GRIPE Councillor Ray Guselli, who represents the Roosecote ward, on the access road to United Utilities’ wastewater treatment plant where an electric gate has been installed stopping access to walkers and cyclists. The gate is normally closed JON GRANGER REF: 50065372B003

Holker Estates gave permission for United Utilities to put up a new gate on the road off Rampside Road in Barrow in a bid to stop scramblers and travellers from using the land.

But Roosecote councillor Ray Guselli claims thousands of residents have been using the road for generations.

A number of residents have backed up his claim on the Facebook group, Barrow-in-Furness in Old Photos.

Cllr Guselli said: “It is very disappointing to see Holker Estates have determined they now wish to remove access to the road which provides access to the very popular and much-used Westfield Trail, or Coastal Way as it is known.

“I appreciate they state steps have been taken to prevent people from allegedly illegally using this road but of course, as the many hundreds if not thousands of users know, people have enjoyed unrestricted access down this road for generations.”

Holker’s chief executive Duncan Peake said: “We would absolutely refute any suggestion that there is any public access down there.

“We have been actively trying to prevent public access. If people feel they have a claim let them make it, but we will defend our position.”

However, Cllr Guselli added: “I am sure the many thousands of people who have used this route without restriction for generations will be unable to accept that over the last few years, steps have been taken to prevent people from using it. I for one have never had any problem accessing it.”

Polly Rourke, a spokeswoman for United Utilities, apologised for any inconvenience.

She said: “There have previously been issues with trespass nuisance from scrambling bikes and even travellers, which have led to noise complaints from people living nearby. There is an alternative public footpath that runs parallel to our road and connects with the coastal way. Nevertheless, we are sorry for the inconvenience that it has caused for some walkers.”

Have your say

We have as a family used this route to the coastal path for over 25 years excluding the period it was closed for the works. It would be a sad day for families in the area if this access was to be permanately halted.

Posted by Dee Taylor on 30 July 2014 at 23:46

In 1920 the Duke of Buccleuch gifted Piel Island to the people of Barrow as a memorial to the dead of WW1.

Now, 100 years after the beginning of WW1, why do Lord Cavendish and Holker Estates seem so intent on imposing draconian restrictions and stopping reasonable access to the Westfield Trail for walkers and cyclists?

Posted by Restricted Access on 14 July 2014 at 10:37

View all 17 comments on this article

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