It’s not just Lancashire’s dereliction of duty to flooded-out residents of Burscough that reveals its backsliding.
It’s about people who ramble there and in particular from the Manchester bound platform of Burscough Bridge station, at the gate signed to Martin Mere.
You are following a narrow path alongside the railway line. But soon you reach Crabtree Lane, and then after a short walk along the lane (which is always very quiet) you are onto fields.
Which leads us to the furore that got Network Rail off its backside and into some positive action relating to flooding there. Historically this area was once the bottom of the biggest lake in the UK and so it is all very flat!. The lake was drained to produce farmland in around the 18th century.
Our intrepid Crabtree Lane flood victim described his part in highlighting the neglect of his local footpath. “After spending most of the last five and a half weeks on my hands and knees cleaning the mud from my home following the flood on August 11th, I thought I would have a break. They say a change is as good as a rest, so today I diverted my attention to another of our authority’s neglected responsibilities, our over-grown footpaths in Burscough.
“Last year following many complaints from passing ramblers and local walkers about the over grown footpath from Burscough Station through to Crabtree Lane, I started trying to encourage LCC to come and clear it as I believe it is their responsibility.
“I logged a complaint on their website for footpaths, having noted there had already been one complaint. Once my complaint was logged, the other complaint disappeared from the site, so it appears, no matter how many people complain, they will only get to see the previous complaint and never get to find out just how many complaints they have already ignored. Genius, I bet someone got a promotion for thinking that one up, keeping the facts and the truth from the public.
“Anyway, after banging my head against a brick wall and getting nowhere, I cleared it myself. It took eight and a half hours of hard graft. The next day, 2 unrelated people called at my home to shake my hand, they were so grateful. It is good to feel appreciated. LCC should try it!
“For the rest of the year, I don’t believe anyone else maintained this path, so come early summer this year, it was overgrown again. I cut it back then and did it again today. It is tough work, today took five and a half hours as it measures just short of a kilometre by 2 meters wide.
“To the best of my knowledge, Lancashire County Council has not maintained this footpath for at least 5 years. So, here are some questions. Why is Burscough so neglected when it comes to maintenance of the footpaths, the maintenance of the drainage systems including the watercourses that are not kept in the way they were designed to function. The sewers that regularly overflow on the main road through Burscough spraying pedestrians with raw sewage when there is heavy rain as cars pass by.
“Why, when our council tax is increasing, are our public services being constantly run down to the point of failure? The authorities complain about staff reductions and shortages, so this should mean a reduced payroll, so where is all that extra money going?
“Burscough has the greatest amount of development which brings in £millions, not only to the council, but it has to be said United Utilities benefits handsomely from the development as well, yet they can’t bring themselves to spend this money in Burscough. It seems we only exist to be exploited. Burscough is seen as a place to make money but give nothing back.
“Well, this is our home, and some within the authorities cannot be shamed into doing what they are paid for because their number one priority is protecting their budget. Many of us who live here care about our environment and take pride in where we live. It is a shame the authorities have no pride in Burscough”.
“Approx 1km of footpath cleared. No help from Lancashire County Council”.
It shames LCC, It’s now becoming the norm.