Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath SD194
24th February 2015
There has been a lot of interest in the proposed diversion of this footpath which crosses the railways line above Lullingstone Lane.
The parish council received a letter at the end of December from Kent County Council Rights of Way Officer consulting us on a proposal to divert the footpath following a request from Network Rail. Network Rail had classified the crossing as High Risk.
'The proposed new route will initially follow the field edge from point A, before becoming a cross field path, which would pass under the viaduct on a newly created section of path for approximately 60m before continuing along the field edge to point B.'
(Point A is the start of the path on Lullingstone Lane, point B is by Hulberry Bungalows).
'The new route would have a width of 2m except for the section under the viaduct where the width would be reduced to 1.4m. This section will have a concrete surface, fenced on one side with a pedestrian handrail on the road side.'
The parish council gave the following response:
' I do not agree the proposed diversion is in the interest of public safety because there have been no fatalities, no accidents or near misses on the footpath SD194, as stated on Network Rail website, following their risk assessment on 30th December 2014.
The Crossing poses no evident risk as it is very well sign posted with a clear line of sight in both directions along the train tracks. There is also an audible warning of approaching trains.
The crossing on the footpath SD194 is not a main thoroughfare for children, residents or visitors to travel around the village and is instead used by professional walkers, ramblers who are vigilant when using the crossing.
I do not agree the proposed diversion is not substantially less convenient to the public because the proposed diversion is considerably more unsafe due to the very steep muddy and boggy state of the ground.
The proposed diversion will prevent the general public from being able to fully enjoy a highly regarded Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).'
Athough the consultation closed on 6th February, any further comments should be directed to email@example.com