Flooded footpaths need more work, say councillors

WORK to address a flooded footpath is under way, but councillors fear it may not be enough.

Several complaints have been made about the state of pathways in Morpeth’s Lancaster Park estate, which quickly become inundated during heavy rain.

At a meeting earlier this month, Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee heard that some action is taking place to try to address the issues around Curlew Hill.

But members say Northumberland County Council, which is responsible for the footpaths, needs to consider the estate as a whole as the problem is widespread.

Coun Ken Brown said: “There have been a number of complaints in the last couple of years about this. It all comes down to a lack of drainage that wasn’t put in by the builders back in the 1960s and it is all coming home to roost now with the extreme weather we are having.

“The town council did make this a top priority in the Local Transport Plan and some remedial work has started beside Curlew Hill, but Leslies View and other streets need to be addressed as well.

“I’m not sure whether the county council has taken all of the estate into consideration or whether it is just fixing this one patch. I suggest we write and ask exactly what it is doing.”

Coun David Parker said it had been suggested that run-off was causing the flooding for some paths, in which case the landowner would be responsible.

But Coun Brown said there is a problem with the footpaths themselves.

“It is largely because the footpaths have sunk below the level of the surrounding grassed area. The footpaths are flagged and the water gathers,” he said.

“What they are doing in Curlew Hill is replacing the flags with bitumen tar-like material and raising the path up.

“The problem is for the whole estate, so we need to be asking the county council for a full action plan, particularly as this is a top priority for us in the Local Transport Plan.”