Local landmark The 40 Steps to reopen in summer

Ann Nihill at The 40 Steps
Ann Nihill at The 40 Steps

A campaigning pensioner is celebrating after learning that a local landmark path will reopen this summer.

The ‘40 Steps’, near Charnley Fold in South Ribble, were closed to the public more than a year ago on safety grounds following extensive flooding. Last April Ann Nihill of Bamber Bridge collected a 1,000 signature petition calling for reopening of the public footpath and was becoming increasingly concerned that nothing was being done.

The 40 Steps in 1905.

The 40 Steps in 1905.

But now she says she is delighted to learn the steps and path should reopen in July.

Lancashire County Council has agreed to re-route the access to the steps.

Ann said: “It’s brilliant because it is our heritage. Our childhood was spent round there playing. It has been closed for more than 12 months.”

Ann thanked local councillor Barrie Yates who took up the case of the steps .

The 40 Steps before repair work

The 40 Steps before repair work

Coun Yates said: “The Steps have always been regularly used and they’ve never been overgrown. It will be a welcome back to all the residents that use it.”

He said the old access to the steps was being replaced by a zig-zag path and issues with drainage addressed, but bad weather had delayed remedial work.

County Coun Yates said: “There was that much water coming down the hillside it just washed the hillside away.

“It actually took the path (to the steps) away. The footpath was washed away and all the banking. The council put protective barriers up telling people not to use it because it was dangerous.”

It is thought the Steps were created in the 1860s as a public works project during the Cotton Famine.