Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Closing the countryside

Neath Port Talbot council has taken Sarn Helen off its Top Ten walks, as advertised on its main web site. This spectacular former Roman road has been neglected for years by successive councils, local activists tell me, and now - it seems under pressure from a local industrialist - the process of closing it to the public has begun. It no longer figures on Neath Port Talbot Ramblers summer programme. Is it coincidental that the latest salami-slicing is taking place during a local election campaign, when councillors' minds are directed elsewhere?

There is more to be written about Sarn Helen and a treasury of documents to go through. However, there is another pressing matter, and that is the proposed closure to the public of Morfa Beach.

I have been told that waste was dumped on footpath 93 over three months ago, blocking the right of way. In spite of a complaint to Neath Port Talbot council in February, no action has been taken over the obstruction. Now, a walker on footpath 92 has been told by a person who would not identify himself that it had been closed because of dangerous traffic movements. The Save Morfa Beach campaign later ascertained that the path was legally open and safe to walk.

The campaign is sponsoring an awareness day to take place on Saturday, April 21, at noon outside the Port Talbot Civic Centre.

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