1 Jun 2011

Green action saves ancient right of way

Residents in Birkenhead are celebrating a landmark victory for people power thanks to a Green Party campaign. With no consultation and backed by councillors from all the mainstream parties on the planning committee, Wirral Council tried to ban pedestrians from using Trinity Lane.

The lane is an important short cut linking Cleveland Street and Price Street. It is used by hundreds of people and has been a public right of way since 1840.

Fortunately, the Council needed a court order to close the lane. On two occasions the Green Party’s Pat Cleary persuaded the court to delay its decision so that the views of local residents could be heard in full. Petitions and surveys of users of the lane were raised. Faced with such an overwhelming response, Wirral Council has now backed down and withdrawn the case.

Commenting on the Council’s climb down Pat Cleary says. “It has taken almost two years but, finally, common sense has prevailed. However, I am deeply concerned that Wirral Council has displayed such a cavalier attitude in trying to remove this important local amenity. A lot of time, stress and taxpayers’ money could have been saved if  the Council had taken its own advice. After all, the Council is supposed to prioritise walking as part of its healthy travel policy.  However, this case clearly shows a lack of joined up thinking. I’m delighted that Trinity Lane has now been preserved for local people.”

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