Closing path is only solution available, says county council

Roland Hassall has won support in his fight to make safer a footpath off Jubilee Way in Mansfield.
Roland Hassall has won support in his fight to make safer a footpath off Jubilee Way in Mansfield.

A disabled Mansfield man has made fresh calls for a ‘dangerous’ path to be re-designed - seven years after first raising a petition on the issue.

Wheelchair user Roland Hassall is angry nothing has been done to address the ‘overly steep’ gradient of the walkway between the housing estate where he lives and the Oak Tree Tesco complex, off Jubilee Way South.

He thought he had won his fight for action when Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton publicly promised something would be done, but is still waiting.

“I’m worried that one day I will have a heart attack or fall out of my chair and hurt myself,” said Mr Hassall.

“I’ve been fighting this since the petition in 2007. Tony Egginton stood up at a meeting at least three years ago and promised us it would be done by that Christmas, but it hasn’t happened.”

Colleen Harwood, Nottinghamshire County councillor for the Mansfield East ward where the path is situated, said: “It is unacceptable this has gone on for so long.

“It’s a public right of way, but in my view it is not fit for purpose.”

Nottinghamshire County councillor for Mansfield South, Andy Sissons, added: “It’s bad enough in good weather, never mind when ice gets on it.”

Frank Kendall, chairman of Oak Tree neighbourhood management team said: “We don’t want major problem or even a fatality before something is done.

Mansfield mayor Egginton insisted the issue of the path was ‘on his radar’ and an issue he would look into afresh.

He said: “I agree that it’s ridiculous for a wheelchair user when it’s a regular route.

“It’s a situation that needs resolving and I will be looking into how we can do so.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed the footpath is its responsibility.

“The path in question is indeed steep in places but it threads in between houses and other private land and there is no practical way of reconstructing it to make it any less steep,” said Kendra Hourd, the council’s district highways manager for Mansfield.

“If it was felt to be dangerous, then the only solution available to us would be to close it, which would inconvenience the pedestrians who can cope with the gradient.”