FOOTPATH REPORT NO 51 – Bill Stiles
Meeting – Wednesday 10 May 2017
We now have a nice new asphalt footpath that currently runs from St Theresa’s Church down to the bridge over Ugley Brook. Hopefully the path will be extended [when they do the junction changes at the B1383 arising from the development on Walpole Farm?] so that it will join up with the path on the Cambridge Road by the Knight Sign. This means that we will have a circular route or more accurately a triangular route, that runs from High Lane – Cambridge Road – Chapel Hill and Lower Street. All this can be done safely with only the need to cross the road twice in High Lane when the footpath moves to the other side of the road. Perhaps this walk should be called the Stansted Triangle? It is a welcome improvement. The persistent campaigning by village residents such as Ralph Philips has at last born fruit.
Obviously a lot of the spring bulbs had to be dug up during work on the verge. Some look as if they have been replanted/relocated. It may be worth completely replanting the verge with new bulbs in the autumn.
FP23 Elms Farm
It is some time since I last walked this path owing to its poor condition on previous attempts.
As usual I was greeted by a lot of unattractive litter at the bottom of the iron steps leading from Church Road. However, the path proved quite easy and dry to walk – we have had little rain recently so all the boggy sections have dried up. There was the usual abundant crop of nettles but these are as yet only about 24 inches high – I would think in 3 or 4 weeks they will be up to shoulder height making the path almost impossible. We could do with a way marker where FP23 meets FP57.
FP57 seems quite clear. The path becomes FP59 for a short distance before becoming FP23 again and meets BR 25. There are way markers in place at the junction with BR25 and where BR25 goes in the direction of Park House/Elsenham Road and also where FP23 heads towards the tunnel beneath the M11.
I noticed that FP50 is closed. This is a short path that runs from Church Road, through Elms Farm drive and joins FP23 just beside the bridge over Stansted Brook. It is fenced off owing to the redevelopment works going on at Elms Farm and closure seems sensible for site safety.
The Bridge over Stansted Brook at the junction of FP23 and FP50 is quite dire. It must fail today’s safety standards. There is a handrail of sorts but this in itself is a safety hazard as it leans outwards and there is no intermediate horizontal rail and no toe board. If someone missed their footing and fell into the brook they could be swept under the bridge beneath the railway line. Whatever happens to FP23 in the future, this bridge needs some serious attention to make it fit for purpose. Is this something that Essex CC or the Environment Agency should undertake?
Provide additional way-marker at junction of FP23 and FP57
Carry out safety improvement works to the bridge over Stansted Brook.