Residents fear rowdy youths
- Published 20/08/12 6:00 am
People living in Severn Road and Thames Road say they already suffer problems with unruly youths congregating on the path, shouting, swearing, drinking and kicking fences.
They claim they were not consulted about the footpath improvement before the work was started.
One resident, Gill Lomas, claimed the work had also had a damaging impact on wildlife, with a number of hedgehogs disturbed and one dying.
The footpath leads from Thames Road to an old railway bridge nearby.
Residents have raised the issue with the borough council, the police and local councillors.
Gill said: "I would like to know why myself and my neighbours were not consulted about the widening and tarmaccing of the path before the decision was made to do it.
"The path is now so wide it would easily fit the best part of 100 teenagers on the bridge.
"I'm also bemused as to why other more widely used public footpaths that people want to use are ignored and left in a state that make them impossible to use.
"I have spoken to many neighbours whose properties back on to the path, who have told me there was no consultation - just a letter say the work was going to be done.
"We are sure the path will now attract more youths, drinking and littering.
"Neighbours already have to endure fences being kicked in, litter thrown off the bridge and youths playing chicken on a ledge on the bridge.
"There is constant swearing, fires being started, explosions involving gas canisters and youths peering into gardens.
"I can't believe in a democratic society this has been allowed to happen with no consideration to how it affects people's everyday lives."
A borough council spokeswoman said: "We consulted households backing onto the footpath and did a letter drop.
"The footpath leads to a former landfill site which is now a nature reserve and with increased footfall we are upgrading the footpath to allow for greater access to the nature reserve."