In July we asked for volunteers to have a close look at the town’s footpaths – click here
Many thanks to all those who have completed checklists, supplied photographs and provided comments about Hitchin’s footpaths. Some of you have promised a few more, and if you have completed them, then we will be happy to receive them. At this stage, we have received completed checklists on 41 different paths and text comments on two others. In some cases, more than one checklist has been completed. Given that there are about 120 paths on the Hertfordshire County Council Definitive Map, and a variety of others not shown there, the sample size is about 30%. We think this is sufficient to support a range of conclusions and recommendations unless anybody has a burning desire to do more.
The survey confirms the attractiveness and popularity of many of Hitchin’s paths. It identifies pockets of neglect (poor maintenance, fly-tipping and vandalism) which discourage use. There is a failure to make the path network accessible to new users and visitors by informative signs or to inform users of, for instance, historical features. No systematic attempt appears to have been made to assess the use of footpaths in Hitchin.
The full report includes a variety of recommendations to address some of these issues (whilst recognising current financial constraints). The report is here – Footpath Survey Report.
A full list of the paths surveyed and comments isavailable – Paths surveyed
We are in the process of arranging a meeting with the HCC Rights of Way Service to discuss ways of taking our recommendations forward and will let you know what happened next!