Search

Anger at closure of Wherryman’s Way footpath which will stay closed until summer assessment

03 December, 2015 - 06:30
Local residents are unhappy that a large section of the Wherryman's Way between Hardley and Loddon has been closed.

Local residents are unhappy that a large section of the Wherryman's Way between Hardley and Loddon has been closed.

©archant2015

A popular Norfolk footpath which follows the course of the River Yare has been closed between Hardley and Loddon causing frustration to visitors and residents.

The gates have been locked preventing anyone using the Wherryman's Way footpath at Chedgrave.The gates have been locked preventing anyone using the Wherryman's Way footpath at Chedgrave.

The area around Hardley Flood, which forms part of The Wherryman’s Way - a 35-mile footpath running between Norwich and Great Yarmouth - has been closed by Norfolk County Council due to the erosion of two bridges and the path becoming unstable.

The council has said work to assess the problem will not start until early summer, causing frustration among residents, councillors and businesses which are losing trade as a result of the closure.

Andrew Milner, who lives in Chedgrave and has been walking the route for the past 25 years, said: “Last winter two of the four bridges at Hardley Flood started to collapse because the bank washed away.

“In the summer they extended the closure back to Chedgrave Common and now they have extended it all the way back to Chedgrave itself.

“They have closed off a huge section of the footpath which means that the circular walk is now closed off, as well as the short walk people do from Chedgrave to the common and to the bird hide on Hardley Flood, which brings lots of tourists in.

“It is a walk that is recommended in regional guides and pub walks, so it brings a lot of people to the area and is good for local businesses.

“Tourists have been coming who don’t know the walk is closed and it is making them cross.

“Word will get around and then people will stop coming completely.”

Loddon parish councillors have been campaigning for work to be started sooner, along with Colin Gould, South Norfolk councillor for the Loddon ward.

Loddon clerk Christine Smith said: “Loddon is a focal point on the route because it is about half way and we have the beautiful Hardley Flood area which is very popular with bird watchers.

“The footpath brings a lot of visitors into Loddon and locals use it all year round.

“My main concern is that they are not going to do anything until next spring or summer, and by that time we will have missed another summer tourist season which is going to have a big impact on local businesses.”

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the problem has been caused because of flooding and changes to the way the water is managed on the river which has undermined the river bank.

She said: “It would simply not be responsible of us to keep the pathway open under the current circumstances.

“We know from our people-counting surveys how popular these paths are, but the number of walkers using the Wherryman’s Way at this time of year is low, which means fewer people – and local communities - will be affected during the winter season.

“But unfortunately, there is no quick fix and we can’t resolve it alone. We have to work with the Broads Authority, who are responsible for managing the waterway, and the Environment Agency who have responsibility for flooding, to find a long term sustainable solution for the river bank - and one which doesn’t simply push any problems upstream to other areas. We will be working with them as part of a multi agency group to carry out a detailed assessment of the area in early summer which will help to generate proposals for sorting out the problem.”

•What do you think? Email amy.smith@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • Peter Waller - Apologies. in an effort to be brief I did not differentiate the funding mechanisms of the various authorities. Both the EA and the Broads Authority are at least part-funded by the Tax payer, who in Norfolk are also Council Tax payers. So because of action by these authorities, the Council Tax payer will have to fund the repairs, and be denied access until after next summer.

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • I see that there is no intention to fix the problem any time soon, certainly not next summer. All they are promising is to carry out a detailed assessment next summer, which will help to (eventually) generate proposals, which may (eventually) sort out the problem. Don't hold your breath! With these promises it could be years before our beautiful footpath is open again.

    Report this comment

    Martin

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • Neither the BA nor the EA are funded by the council tax. Although NOT a national park the Broads Authority is funded by a NP grant from DEFRA and also by tolls paid by boat owners. DEFRA funding comes out of general taxation.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • So its been caused by flooding and changes in the way the water has been managed on the river!!! Flooding - the responsibility of the Environment Agency and water management the EA and the Broads Authority - all funded by the Council Tax payer. But we have to wait until next summer before the work will be assessed??

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • The trouble is, there's always someone who is ready to sue if they get a splinter, which is why the council has to take reasonable steps to prevent people from using the bridges. Also, once you start on the path I don't believe there's an alternative route, so you'd had to double-back on yourself if the bridges are closed (quite welcome to be corrected by someone who's used the path recently - it's been years since I went that way). If you climb the gate and then suffer and injury, it'll be on your own head.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • Bloater.....health & safety is not "overacting" as you put it or even "overreacting". Its there for a reason to protect everyone...!

    Report this comment

    MickB1

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • Just carry on and climb the gates, these bridges are not what you call dangerous to the walkers, it's the health & safety brigade overacting as usual.

    Report this comment

    Bloater

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

  • I was going to go there today , saved me a wasted journey . It should have been assessed and the work carried out as soon as the bridges were undermined . Nobody has any get up and go , these days . Norfolk County Council , say no more . It`s a lovely walk , absolute disgrace it has been abandoned completely now .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Yesterday, 17:05

Inpatients will move back to Beccles Hospital tomorrow following a major £1.65m refurbishment project.

Yesterday, 17:45

An all-singing, all-dancing comedy show begins a jam-packed schedule of events at the Marina Theatre this week.

Yesterday, 17:25

Businesses, clubs and organisations from across the region have been getting their teams together for this year’s East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival.

Yesterday, 16:35

A local business is to go to parliament for the British finals of a prestigious competition.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:05

Inpatients will move back to Beccles Hospital tomorrow following a major £1.65m refurbishment project.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Yesterday, 14:53

From 2019 a fleet of new trains will transform East Suffolk rail services, with all trains formed of at least three carriages.

Read more
Graham Elliott
Yesterday, 16:35

A local business is to go to parliament for the British finals of a prestigious competition.

Read more
House of Lords
Friday, November 11, 2016

A pilot who was seriously injured when his plane crashed, is now at home with his family following surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Read more
Maurice Hammond
Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey tycoon Bernard Matthews has died, it was announced this morning.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter