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Village unveils new footpath following fears for pedestrians safety

PUBLISHED: 17:46 06 September 2017

Norfolk County Council vice chairman Margaret Stone offically opens the Hollow Hill Footpath, in Ditchingham. Photo: James Carr.

Norfolk County Council vice chairman Margaret Stone offically opens the Hollow Hill Footpath, in Ditchingham. Photo: James Carr.

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A new footpath allowing pedestrians to avoid walking beside a dangerous stretch of a busy road has been officially opened.

The new Hollow Hill Footpath allows pedestrians to walk along the Norwich Road without fear. Photo: James Carr.The new Hollow Hill Footpath allows pedestrians to walk along the Norwich Road without fear. Photo: James Carr.

The ribbon was cut on the Hollow Hill Footpath in Ditchingham, on Tuesday, September 5.

Situated alongside where Hollow Hill Road joins Norwich Road, the path has already proved popular with dog walkers, joggers and those who rely on mobility scooters.

Margaret Stone, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council, was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the path.

She said: “This is a really important project – it was such a dangerous pathway.”

Dorothy Cheyne and Margaret Stone, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council at the opening of the Hollow Hill Footpath. Phot: James Carr.Dorothy Cheyne and Margaret Stone, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council at the opening of the Hollow Hill Footpath. Phot: James Carr.

The 230-metre path cost £10,000 to construct with the project equally funded by Ditchingham Parish Council and Norfolk County Council as part of the latter’s Parish Partnership Scheme.

Ditchingham councillor Richard Mulley originally proposed the idea, collecting names to demonstrate support for the project.

Planning began in 2016 but it was only after Dorothy and Jonathan Cheyne, who own the land which the path is built on, agreed to make it available free of charge, that work could begin in earnest.

Mrs Stone added: “The landowners, parish council and county council have all worked together for the sake of community.

Norfolk County Council vice chairman Margaret Stone offically opens the Hollow Hill Footpath, in Ditchingham. Photo: James Carr.Norfolk County Council vice chairman Margaret Stone offically opens the Hollow Hill Footpath, in Ditchingham. Photo: James Carr.

“It was a real partnership which is unusual these days.”

Highlighting the importance of the path Miss Cheyne said: “The path by the road is a nightmare; people lived in fear of getting hit in the back of the head by a lorry wing mirror.

“This new path is going to save injuries and lives for the people of Ditchingham.”

While there are no recorded injuries sustained by pedestrians on the former stretch of pathway, Keith Weston, chairman of Ditchingham Parish Council, said: “There have been many near misses.

“The phrase accident waiting to happen springs to mind.”

During the unveiling he said: “I would like thank Dorothy and Jonathan Cheyne who, very generously, made the field edge available.

“They did this at no cost to the council but rather as a gift to the community.

“Without their generosity we would not have this footpath which is much safer than the alternative.”

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