Foot­paths closed for pres­ti­gious golf event

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY KATE LALLY kate.lally@trin­i­tymir­ @kate­lal­lyx

PREPA­RA­TIONS for the 2017 Open Championship are set to come to the fore in a cou­ple of months.

Golf’s most pres­ti­gious championship re­turns to the Royal Birk­dale from July 16 to 23. The world’s best golfers will show off their skills at the course - with dreams of lift­ing the fa­mous claret jug.

The distin­guished event is ex­pected to bring hun­dreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors into the town over a sin­gle week­end, along with mil­lions of pounds of ‘out­side’ money.

How­ever the championship also brings with it some dis­rup­tion.

Doc­u­ments on Sefton Coun­cil’s web­site state that ‘in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the Championship’, it will be nec­es­sary to close pub­lic foot­paths and na­ture trails across South­port.

Work­ers are due to start con­struct­ing a tented vil­lage, TV com­pound and car park­ing on the site. Con­struc­tion will be­gin on Mon­day May 16, and the site will be va­cated by Mon­day Au­gust 28.

In or­der to fa­cil­i­tate this, the coun­cil will shut two ad­ja­cent foot­paths at Birk­dale Na­ture Trail.

Sefton Coun­cil’s web­site goes on to state that “al­ter­na­tive routes will be pro­vided wher­ever pos­si­ble. How­ever, for a short pe­riod of time in mid to late July, no such al­ter­na­tive routes will be able to be pro­vided.

“The clo­sures will be phased to al­low the con­struc­tion of the var­i­ous el­e­ments of the Championship to take place whilst main­tain­ing safety for the pub­lic and min­imis­ing in­con­ve­nience to users of the foot­paths.”

Some Visiter read­ers have stated their dis­ap­point­ment at the dis­rup­tion.

Chris­tine Lloyd said: “Pub­lic ground should not be closed to the pub­lic. It’s not like we in­ter­fere with the golfers or their land.”

Mik Law­son said: “It’s great the event is be­ing held here, not so good that lo­cals can’t go about nor­mal rou­tines, though.”

How­ever, oth­ers say it is a ‘worth­while in­con­ve­nience’.

Neville Grundy said: “I have no in­ter­est in sport but this is a mas­sive event that will bring pres­tige and a lot of money into the town. Big events need tem­po­rary clo­sures some­times – look at the Christ­mas lights etc. Needs must.”

Ge­orgina Gillen added: “There are miles of beach and wood­lands to walk on. For the sake of a few months, the path clo­sures are def­i­nitely worth it.”

The Royal Birk­dale Golf Club in prepa­ra­tions for the 2017 Open Cham­pi­onships this July

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