Sully resident brands sections of Wales Coast Path as 'unfit for purpose'
10:32am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Penarth news
A SULLY resident has described part of the Wales Coast Path as “unfit for purpose” and called for work to be carried out to make it more accessible.
David Phipps, of South Road, said that the path was unsafe to walk on and that “only the relatively young, fit and agile walker could perhaps safely negotiate it”.
Mr Phipps, who has lived in Sully for over 30 years, said that remedial work should be done to make the path more accessible.
“I’m not asking the Vale of Glamorgan Council in the current economic climate to stick a new path, what I’m saying is that parts of the path are unsafe to walk on,” he said.
“Sections of the path should be gravelled to bed the rocks into position.”
He added: “The existing path is unsafe to walk on and people risk injury.
“There are a number of sections of large rocks that are unsuitable to walk on.
“They raise the risk of injury as they are difficult to walk on and are definitely a tripping hazard.
“You could damage your lower limbs, such as twisting an ankle, by trying to walk on those particular sections.”
Mr Phipps, 64, said that he had started taking up more exercise after recently suffering health problems.
“Recovering from illness and under doctors orders to take a lot more exercise, such as brisk walking, I reluctantly decided to give it a go,” he said.
“Living in Sully and so near to a section of the much lauded Welsh Government Coastal Path I duly set off to walk the whole length of the path that is within Sully’s boundaries. It is not a great distance but just far enough for starters.
“How sad then to find that a large part of the pathway in Sully – a Public Right of Way – is unsafe to walk on and totally unfit for purpose. Only the relatively young, fit and agile walker could perhaps safely negotiate it - certainly not people like myself who would benefit most from it.”
He added: “It does not require massive investment in a new path, just adequate and effective remedial work on those particular sections of the current path that are totally unsafe to walk on. It would not be that costly and when completed we would have a walk that everyone could use.”
Mr Phipps has raised the issue with the Penarth and District Ramblers, Sully councillor Bob Penrose and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Bob Guy, operational manager for countryside and economic projects at the Vale Council, said that the section of the path was ‘adequate’ and that there were no plans to improve the surface.
"The Wales Coast Path at Sully has a number of different surfaces along its length. At this point the path runs along the back edge of a shingle bank. The path was inspected today and, although not a perfect surface, it is adequate,” he said.
"Most of the Wales Coast Path does not have a man-made surface, neither is it perfectly accessible for all abilities for its full length, and users need to take appropriate care when choosing where to walk in a natural environment. Improving this surface would be a costly project, and it is not a current priority with limited funds available."