Safe path to school opens after 10-year campaign
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.