Calls to improve Piddle Valley village link bridleway

  • Published
Piddle Valley bridlewayImage source, Piddle Path Action Team
Image caption,
Residents say the bridleway is prone to flooding

The deteriorating condition of a rural path linking three Dorset villages is "frustrating" residents, campaigners have said.

The B3143 road linking Piddlehinton, White Lackington and Piddletrenthide does not have footpaths and a nearby bridleway is used as an alternative by pedestrians and cyclists.

Residents claim it regularly floods and can be impassable.

Dorset Council said it was working to "enhance rights of way".

Residents of the three villages near Dorchester have set up the Piddle Path Action Team to campaign for the path to be improved to be able to be used by walkers and cyclists.

They say the 2.5 mile (4km) bridleway, running parallel with River Piddle, deteriorates and is often impassable in winter, while the road is too dangerous to walk along.

Jayne Brown head teacher of Piddle Valley First School: "The government encourage us to get our children out and about, but it's dangerous. We've encouraged our children to ride bikes, but the bridal path is only accessible during a certain period of time.

"If it was open all throughout the year, many, many users from the whole community could use it safely to move from one end of the valley to the other. It's very frustrating for all parties."

Image source, Piddle Path Action Team
Image caption,
Residents are campaigning for the bridleway to be improved for pesestrians and cyclists

Maria de Figureido of the Piddle Path Action Team said: "We've had massive support from the community - [improving the path] would improve the lives of people throughout the valley."

She said the group was in discussions with the council and landowners but progress had been "slow".

Dorset Council declined to say how much upgrading the path would cost or when any improvements would be made.

"Dorset Council is keen to work with communities and landowners to enhance rights of way to make them accessible and usable all year round," a statement said.

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