The true cost of volunteering

Your letters
Your letters

A designated footpath in Pulborough runs from the railway station to Church Place, and it is used daily by many commuters.

As it is a safe route connecting one side of the village with the medical centre, supermarkets, the primary school, two churches and other facilities, it is also regularly travelled by pedestrians including parents with buggies and people on mobility scooters, as well as dog walkers and hikers heading for the countryside.

The path has a good tarmacadam surface but there is a verge on either side of the path in which nettles, brambles, ferns and other undergrowth flourish. There are also bushes and more undergrowth encroaching on to the path through the fencing on either side.

For the past several years the path has been kept open only by the dedicated efforts of local residents who cut back the most invasive plants.

However, more serious work needs to be done urgently in order to properly clear the verges and the fence lines but this the Public Rights of Way department of West Sussex County Council refuse categorically to do because ‘the path is not completely obstructed’.

Whilst this statement is true, it must mean that the PROW budget is spent on paths where the local community are not so co-operative and take no interest in helping with the clearance work.

Most of the users of the path pay council tax, of which a portion goes to the PROW department, so surely it is unacceptably discriminatory not to do necessary work for at least five years on this path just because residents, in their own time and without pay, manage to keep it open.

LAWRIE ELLIS

Lyntons, Pulborough