£20K bill to make pavement safer near Garstang Community Academy - but who will pay?

Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster
Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster

A solution could be in sight for a road safety problem which has plagued Garstang for decades - but at a price.

Lancashire County Council has agreed that it could widen the pavement near Garstang Community Academy. But the works, which would also include changing its camber, would cost £20,000 and the council says it can provide just £5,000.

Garstang Community Academy

Garstang Community Academy

Now the search is on to see if the borough and town council or local housing developers can help fund the longed for improvements to help keep pupils and pedestrians safe.

Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster updated the town council on progress being made by the Garstang Academy Footpaths Working Group at its last meeting.

The Group had arranged a site visit with the county council. She reported: “The good news is there is a way of improving the footpath at the top of Bowgreave to make the journey for our schoolchildren, pedestrians, prams, buggies and wheelchair users safer. Improvements to this pavement cannot come soon enough for me and our residents, particularly our schoolchildren.”

Garstang Community Academy Principal Mr Alasdair Ashcroft said: “I have been very concerned about this since I took up my post three years ago...We are keen to get this done.”

Mr Ashcroft added that when county representatives attended they saw how pupils in small groups were forced off the pavement, which narrows to accommodate just one person.

The Working Group asked Wyre Council if a contribution from local developers, known as section 106 monies, could go towards the work. Head of Planning Mr David Thow said the funds cannot be used to solve pre-existing highway safety issues.

Coun. Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We had a very positive meeting with the working group and have costed a proposed improvement scheme for the footway on the bend to the north of the school.

"The representatives we met with from the school and other councils recognised that the scheme would need to be funded and I'm pleased that they offered to look at securing funding from their organisations and other potential sources to get this project moving."