“Safety is a priority but we can’t afford it”

UAH student Ben Whiting walks around blind bends with no footpath every school day
UAH student Ben Whiting walks around blind bends with no footpath every school day

A mum is calling for action now to make a stretch of road in her village safe before it’s too late.

Dawn Adams has long been campaigning for a footpath to be built in Moulton Seas End on a busy stretch of road between the Seas End Road and The Golden Lion pub which has to be used by children to get to the school bus stop.

But Lincolnshire County Council says that with budget cuts and not enough land available, building a footpath is unlikely to happen.

Dawn’s 13-year-old daughter Keira was forced off the verge into the mud to avoid a car on her way to the school bus last week.

She said: “She had to come back home to get changed and then walk back to the bus stop. She was worried about being late for school. I do not consider this acceptable, that just because (Lincolnshire County Council’s) highways have not purchased the small amount of land needed to put in a footpath, children are forced off the road into puddles and mud on the small verge to avoid being hit.”

Both Keira who goes to Spalding High School, and her sister Jessica (14) who goes to University Academy Holbeach, have to walk on the grass verge from their home to catch their school buses and in the dark after 4pm in winter when their buses get back.

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Department said: “Keeping people safe is one of our top priorities. We do appreciate the concerns of local residents, and understand their desire for a footpath. We have explored whether this is possible, but the reality is that there is simply not enough highways land for one to be created.

“That means adjacent land would need to be acquired. However, not all the landowners are willing to sell, meaning this could only be done through a compulsory purchase order.

“This is likely to cost more than the footpath itself, and is a lengthy process in which there is no guarantee we would be successful; and with the county council’s budget being greatly reduced over the last few years, this is not something we would be able to fund.”