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Council left red-faced after laying new footpath THROUGH lamp post

By Jack Averty | Bloxwich | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Residents have been left baffled after a council laid a new footpath straight through a lamp post.

Baffled locals Margaret Broadhurst and Lyndsay Jones take a look at the lamp post

Bemused householders have alerted Walsall Council to the problem on Central Drive in Dudley Fields, Bloxwich.

Concerns have also been raised that the lamp post presents a safety risk as ‘no wheelchair or pushchair could get past that without going onto the road or the grass’, according to Bloxwich councillor Louise Harrison.

But Walsall Council has said it will not spend several thousand pounds ‘unnecessarily relocating’ the lamp post and insisted the 1.2-metre gap between the post and the back of the footpath is ‘over and above’ what is required by law.

Councillor Lee Jeavons, transport boss at the council, said: “We consulted local residents on this highway improvement scheme earlier in the year and the majority were in favour of it.

“As the plan sent out to residents shows, the scheme includes ‘echelon’ parking.

Walsall Council is not planning on moving the lamp post

“This means that cars will drive into the parking spaces at an angle and, if their front wheels touch the kerb, some of their car bonnet will overhang the footway.

“The space left in front of the lighting column will prevent the column from being damaged by parking of vehicles.

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“The space of 1.2m between the lighting column and the back of foot way is over and above what is required by the Disability Discrimination Act for the purposes of pedestrian access.”

“There was no plan to move the existing lighting column.

“However, what has changed since our original consultation was the decision to construct a footway adjacent to the parking to aid access.”

“At a time when our funding is under such pressure, I can’t justify spending several thousand pounds unnecessarily relocating this lighting column.”

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Walsall Council was alerted to the problem by David Price.

He told the authority: “It is not hard to start a footpath and realise there is a lamp post that’s going to fall in the middle of this path, let's move it over a foot.

“Instead they carried on. This needs addressing immediately.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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