New footpath opened at Sidestrand

Pedestrians have a safer walk along the main road at Sidestrand thanks to a new path created by local teamwork.

Safety improvements were called for by the parish council and county councillor Graham Jones because of the lack of a path along part of the busy Cromer Road.

Providing a path however would have been expensive, so local councillors and organisations put their heads together to come up with a different solution, which has now been opened.

The first section of footpath runs from Starling Rise to St Michael's Church on the roadside verge.

The second passes through the churchyard, with new gates at each end.

The third runs from the churchyard, across the school access and through the woods to join the existing footway.

This allowed the roadside hedge to be retained, providing a protective barrier between footpath and the road.

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The path was opened by Mr Jones, with members of the parish council and pupils from Sidestrand school, who then headed to the church for a carol service.

He said: 'The pathway is important to this small parish because traffic is an ever-present danger, especially in summer.

'I have worked with the parish council on this for some three years and it is great to see it finally come to fruition. It will make such a difference to the community. I am so pleased that this footway has at last been completed.'

Mr Jones worked with previous parish council chairman Richard May and former clerk Christine Bateman along with the county council.

Mr May added: 'It has been a very long time coming to make this narrow strip of road safe for pedestrians. Thanks to the efforts of many people we have at last got the footpath that will allow villagers to walk safely along this very dangerous road.'

The path surface will be upgraded next spring when weather conditions allow a gravel finish to be added.

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