New footpath puts shoppers on right track

A new footpath that is paving the way for Ashington residents to reach a retail park has also seen an increase in footfall.

People living near the retail park off the A197 Pegswood to Ashington Road had complained to the council and local ward members that they were having to walk on the grass to access the shops.

Northumberland County Council agreed to provide funding from the Local Transport Plan budget to do the work, which involved building a new path, putting in dropped kerbs for easy access and installing new streetlighting.

For local ward councillors Lynne Grimshaw and Brian Gallacher, the work has attracted a lot of good feedback.

Councillor Grimshaw said: “I’ve had a lot of positive comments, especially from parents who feel much safer taking their children across to the shops in the knowledge they’re not having to carry children or push buggies over uneven grass.”

Councillor Gallacher said: “The lack of a footpath had been a real issue to local residents and we were supportive of their calls for a new path.

“The work came in under budget and on time and we’ve already had some great feedback. We’ve had good support throughout the project from Kentucky Fried Chicken and other local businesses have told us how pleased they are that people can get to and from the retail park a lot easier.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, added: “There are numerous projects happening across the county which aren’t necessarily high-profile but make a real difference to communities.

“By simply installing a footpath, we’ve managed to boost trade, increase public safety and make life a lot easier for hundreds of residents.”