Safe path to school opens af­ter 10-year cam­paign

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS of all ages have fi­nally cel­e­brated the open­ing of a safe new foot­path link­ing two vil­lages.

The Pil­cot Road foot­way project was launched by Crookham Vil­lage Parish Coun­cil in 2004 fol­low­ing a cam­paign by res­i­dents wor­ried about the dan­gers of walk­ing with their chil­dren along Pil­cot Hill to Dog­mers­field Pri­mary School.

The cam­paign was backed by a 500-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion, or­gan­ised by lo­cal res­i­dents Sarah and Jerome Far­rell.

It was given a fur­ther boost in 2006 when res­i­dent and for­mer parish coun­cil­lor In­dra Sinka worked with the school to de­velop a travel plan, which had at its heart the foot­way be­tween the two vil­lages.

In 2009, Jenny Radley, the then-Hamp­shire county coun­cil­lor for the area, took up the cam­paign and thanks to her ef­forts, cou­pled with an of­fer of fund­ing from the parish coun­cil, the county coun­cil agreed to sup­port the scheme in 2011.

Fol­low­ing a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, work fi­nally be­gan on the 425m-foot­way ear­lier this year and has now been com­pleted. But even be­fore the work was com­plete, count­less res­i­dents have used it on a daily ba­sis to take their chil­dren to school as well as make other es­sen­tial trips be­tween the vil­lages.

The new £315,000 foot­way was of­fi­cially opened by Cllr Radley dur­ing a cer­e­mony at­tended by Crookham Vil­lage Parish Coun­cil chair­man Si­mon Am­bler, Hart district and Hamp­shire county coun­cil­lor John Bennison, Crookham Vil­lage Parish Coun­cil clerk Carol Lev­er­sha, Mr and Mrs Far­rell and their chil­dren Theodore, Bene­dict and Felix.

District Cllr Radley said it was ‘quite ob­vi­ous’ that a safe foot­way was needed along the side of Pil­cot Road.

“The pe­ti­tion was in­sti­gated by Mr and Mrs Far­rell and fam­ily, and sup­ported by the par­ents at Dog­mers­field Pri­mary School, cus­tomers of the shop in Crookham Vil­lage and many lo­cal res­i­dents,” she added.

“The parish coun­cil and Hamp­shire high­ways of­fi­cers were able to iden­tify suit­able fund­ing for high­ways im­prove­ments and con­sid­er­able ef­fort was made to plan and de­sign the nec­es­sary foot­way.

“It proved to be more com­pli­cated than first ex­pected but it is great to see it com­pleted at last, and be­ing used by fam­i­lies walk­ing to and from school.”

She gave spe­cial thanks to Crookham Vil­lage Parish Coun­cil for all its ‘ster­ling sup­port’ through­out the process and to Dog­mers­field Parish Coun­cil for its ‘pa­tience and at­ten­tion to de­tail’.

"I must also thank Cllr Bennison for mak­ing sure that the plan was fi­nally signed off and work put into ac­tion by of­fi­cers at Hamp­shire County Coun­cil.

“It is re­ally good to see how well the path fits in and helps to link these two vil­lages.

“It was worth all the ef­fort to make sure the de­sign suited the need for a safe foot­way along this road, worked with the char­ac­ter of the area and will be easy to man­age in fu­ture.”

Cllr Jenny Radley cuts the rib­bon to of­fi­cially open the new Pil­cot Road foot­way link­ing Crookham Vil­lage and Dog­mers­field.

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