CAMPAIGNERS fighting to reopen the Martholme Viaduct footpath in Great Harwood have been warned to expect defeat.
The Observer reported earlier this month how an online petition had been set up to open the 800m stretch of disused railway line which links the town with Read.
More than 300 people have so far signed the petition. It comes after the path was closed in 2001 after the outbreak of foot and mouth. However Great Harwood and Lancashire County councillor (LCC) Gareth Molineux said he does not believe a ‘legitimate case’ can be put forward to county hall. He also said a local caravan park could have ‘legitimate’ objection to the move.
Coun Molineux said: “People had used the route previously but when it was closed off by the owners, an application was considered by the LCC Regulatory Committee on whether a footpath had already been established – and if so to record it on the Definitive Map and Statement.
“This was refused in 2004, a further appeal against this decision was lodged but this was also refused in 2005.
“Given that the decision was considered by the Secretary of State at appeal, LCC is confident that a reappraisal of this decision is unjustified.”
Coun Molineux added that the council was not prepared to use their compulsory path creation powers because of the unknown amount of compensation that would have to be paid..
To sign the petition, visit thepetitionsite.com/744/618/497/martholme-viaduct.