An idea to provide a safer route to and from Harlands school for Fernley Park pupils has been ruled out by Uckfield Town Council.
A potential pushchair/pram friendly route was put forward by Uckfield North councillor, Chris Macve, Trust Independent.
He said that while driving along Eastbourne Road he saw “mothers with children in tow, walking to Harlands School, and it occurred to me that a connecting path through Nightingale Wood, behind Bullfinch Gardens would be quicker, safer and more pleasant”.
He said he had spoken to the school who told him more than 30 children live in Fernley Park and surrounding roads, who attend the school.
Walking to school
“The school were enthusiastic about the idea and felt it would be a good incentive to encourage good health and wellbeing and walking to school,” Cllr Macve said.
In his report to members of the council’s environment and leisure committee, he said points to consider included:
- Nightingale Wood is in town council ownership;
- Some of the land was owned by a third party;
- There was already a public footpath, No 12b that runs from Eastbourne Road through Nightingale Wood to Harlands Primary School and beyond. The Eastbourne Road section has recently been improved with the installation of sleepers by the county council;
- Nightingale Wood is covered by a blanket Tree Preservation Order and no trees could be felled without the prior permission of Wealden District Council;
- Advice and guidance could be sought from East Sussex County Council Rights of Way Team and the town council’s Ranger to explore whether a further footpath would be feasible;
- The town council’s budget has already been set for 2017/18 so it would be unlikely that any works could take place in 2017/18. If viable, costs would need to be explored for potential delivery in the longer term;
- Although the school is in favour of a path would families actually use the footpath; and
- An initial survey of potential users could be carried out.
The town council’s environment and leisure committee decided not to look into the scheme for a number of reasons, particularly the cost of constructing a suitable path, the fact that the council did not own all the route and concerns over tree preservation orders.
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