Locals plea: Please clear ‘scary’ shortcut
A FOOTPATH that has been left to overgrow in Fort William has been called dangerous and unsafe by a local woman who uses it almost every day.
Trees and bushes on the footpath from Lundavra road down to the back of Fort William primary school, have grown so wild that walkers and cyclists have to dodge plants and branches on their way through.
Jean Sinclair, a resident of Plantation, works at Myrtle Bank guest house and is keen to continue to use the shortcut, but feels that ‘anything could be lurking in the bushes’.
She said: ‘Every year I have had to report this same problem to the Highland council and every time they say it is the education department who is responsible for the upkeep of the greenery and pathway.
‘About five years ago it was all cut back to the fences and what a difference it made.’
Mrs Sinclair enlisted the help of councillor Brian Murphy to support her campaign to have the area maintained and it is thought he was able to encourage the maintenance a few years ago.
Now Mrs Sinclair is concerned that members of the public may be avoiding using the path because it is scary at nights. She said: ‘It is getting darker in the mornings again. You just don’t know what could be in the bushes when it is dark. People from Upper Achintore often use the path as a shortcut, but it has been getting worse. I am having to dodge branches and nettles.’
Another worker at Myrtle Bank guest house, Margarita Alcantara, said: ‘It is awful. When it is dark and when it is raining is when it is most unsafe. I have known a few people who have fallen and slipped when it is wet, because they slip on plants that are growing out on to the path.
‘It takes 15 minutes more to walk around Achintore road to that area, when the path takes you straight there.
‘Not everyone has a car or can afford a taxi, so to use the path is helpful. But it is not nice.’
The stance of Highland council remains unclear, with the closure of Fort William primary school just before the summer holiday.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are looking into the matter.’
The chairman of Fort William community council said: ‘The area is certainly used and needs cut, that includes the trees on Lundavra road. The community council will support the campaign to have something done.’
Jean Sinclair is fed up fighting to see the greenery cut back on a