Village ‘very angry’ over closure of £250,000 cycle path following unauthorised work

Closure signs from Nottinghamshire County Council
By Lauren Monaghan, Junior Local Democracy Reporter

The partial closure of a £250,000 cycle path between Radcliffe-on-Trent and Cotgrave is now indefinite after assessments showed unauthorised building work had left it unstable.

Villagers are “very angry” over the damage and ongoing lack of access, one local councillor said.

The route on a former railway line embankment opened in 2019 after Nottinghamshire County Council spent months restoring it.

Linking Radcliffe and Cotgrave Country Park, the ‘Greenway’ was used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders from both villages.

But since January, a section between Holme Lane and Stragglethorpe Road near Radcliffe-on-Trent has been closed off after unauthorised work on the embankment, carried out at the rear of Cedar Lodge Caravan Park, a travellers’ site on the A52 Nottingham Road, close to Radcliffe.

Earlier in the year a digger could be seen at the site, which appeared to have moved and flattened a section of earth from the path’s embankment. Two caravans, which have now been removed, were later parked on the flattened bank.

Nottinghamshire County Council closed the route with a temporary fence at Radcliffe after the work, saying it needed to assess the damage as the path may be unstable.

A digger pictured at the greenway’s embankment

Last Thursday (July 4), signs appeared on a new security fence installed at the Radcliffe end of the route, saying the council had now assessed the damage and decided it was still unsafe to use – but it added there were “no timescales” on repair work which must now be done before the route can re-open.

Councillor Anne Mcleod, Chair of the Radcliffe-on-Trent Parish council, expressed village residents’ concerns over the closure.

She said: “The feeling in the village is very angry.

“We were hoping and promised that path for years and we were all really pleased because it was a lovely walk to Cotgrave.

“It was a real disappointment for the village, it was enough to get a good amount of exercise safely.”

Cllr McLeod added: “It is damaged so significantly it’s dangerous to walk on.

“Large cracks have appeared along the linear walk and because the side has been removed, the actual path itself is unstable because there’s no foundations.”

A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesperson said: “The council has been advised that, until the embankment can be stabilised, there is a real risk that the slope could slip without warning and take a section of the greenway with it- the route will, therefore, need to remain closed until it is made safe.

“The County Council has now received all of the specialist reports that it commissioned and it is understood that significant reinforcement works will be required to stabilise the embankment.

“The next step is to get the required works designed and costed, and this work is now underway.

“We ask that members of the public do not move the barriers that have been put in place or attempt to use the closed section, as this could put yourself and others at risk.”

The sign at the closure in Radcliffe adds: “An assessment has indicated that there is a risk of the embankment collapsing, and for this reason, public access is not currently permitted.

“Works are now being commissioned to undertake a repair of the embankment to allow its reopening – although we have no timescales for when this may be.”

The Local Democracy Reporting service attempted to make contact with the owner of Cedar Lodge Caravan Park today (July 10) but they were not available for comment.

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