Residents win battle to reopen Deganwy railway footpath

Image caption,
The stretch of footpath over the railway line was closed in 2011

Residents have won a 10-year battle to reopen a section of coastal footpath crossing a rail line in a north Wales town.

The path at Deganwy, near Conwy, cut across the section of track linking the line to Llandudno.

It was closed by Network Rail in 2011, but local campaigners and politicians launched a campaign to reopen it, which went to the High Court.

Network Rail said it is considering its next steps.

The fight to reopen the crossing was led by a group of residents, along with former Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb and Conwy county councillor Mike Priestley.

The case went to the High Court after an initial public inquiry ruled in the residents' favour.

The court refused to overturn the inquiry finding, and also rejected a request for an appeal.

Hundreds of people from the town and Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders supplied documents and gave evidence as part of the process.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The footpath linked the coast road to the foreshore

One campaigner, Julian Pitt said: "It's a small piece of path, but it's so important strategically.

"We've really missed it during the years that it's been closed. You might think that people would just give up and get used to it being closed after so long, but people got angrier and angrier.

"Without this link, the railway is a barrier and people have to walk half a mile or more along a busy main road to get to the foreshore and the coast path."

Robin Millar MP, who replaced Guto Bebb as the Conservative MP for Aberconwy at the 2019 General Election, said it was a "David and Goliath battle".

He called on Network Rail to reopen the crossing as soon as possible.

He said: "I know how delighted everyone is to have heard this news at the start of this new year."

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Following the court's decision to refuse our appeal, we are currently assessing what this means in terms of next steps."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The footpath crosses the railway line between Llandudno and Llandudno Junction

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