September News ....

Possible Pathways and Priorities ....

A full report of the 2016 public consultation on possible new all-weather pathways for Eastfield Park was presented to the FoEP Committee in June. The report contained five recommendations (see right-hand panel) all of which were accepted by the Friends. The report was then submitted to the Eastfield Park Management Committee (EPMC) at the beginning of July. After consideration by Councillors and Council Officers, the report's recommendations were accepted by the EPMC at its September meeting.

The EPMC asked the FoEP to prioritise the suggested routes (see map) as soon as possible in case funding became available for one or more of the routes in the near future. The Friends did this at their September meeting.

New Path Consultation

CLICK FOR LARGE VIEW

For the purpose of the public consultation the 'Northern Path' had been divided into two sections (1a and 1b on the map) making four routes for the Committee to rank. All had proved popular during the consultation process with only slight differences in the degree of preference shown for each. The Committee considered all four routes and decided that Route 1a should have top priority, followed by Route 1b. Together, these two pathways would form a cross-park route from east to west and would link the Booth Lane entrance to Apple Tree Walk, the Lake and both play areas. The Booth Lane entrance is currently the only main entrance to the Park that does not open directly onto a surfaced pathway. The next priority should be Route 3 (the pathway around the Lake including a board walk made from recycled fire-resistant plastic across the wetter areas). This was actually the most popular route in the survey but also, in many respects, the most controversial. The Committee thought that 1a+b would be of greater benefit to a larger number of people including many living in Boothville who would not have received the survey questionnaire. Route 2 should have the lowest priority since it partly reproduces the links provided by Route 1a. However, it does complete a circular route around the Park.

The FoEP Committee were undecided concerning the question of whether any of the pathways should be constructed as cycle routes. What is clear is that, whether or not the paths are constructed as cycle paths, they will be used by cyclists. Cycle paths would be more expensive than ordinary footpaths but could attract additional funding. The FoEP have asked the council to obtain estimates for both kinds of track for Routes 1a & 1b. (Routes 2 and 3 would be footpaths only.)

ALL-WEATHER FOOTPATHS FOR EASTFIELD PARK

Recommendations

1. In view of the public demand for additional all-weather footpaths in Eastfield Park from those living in the Park’s catchment, and the strategic importance of the proposed pathways to Northampton’s network of Inter-Urban Connectors, the EPMC should recommend that NBC accepts the desirability of providing four pathways, broadly in line with those proposed in the consultation document.
2. The FoEP, EPMC and NBC should consider whether any of the proposed pathways should be constructed as cycle routes (possibly with separate pedestrian and cycle lanes) and should review issues surrounding the use of the Park by cyclists.
3. The four suggested routes should be prioritised by the FoEP and confirmed by the EPMC in case initial funding is insufficient to provide for all paths at the same time.
4. NBC should produce maps showing the exact route for each of the four pathways and should obtain estimates for constructing and maintaining the paths to a high standard. Paths should be suitable for wheelchair use with adequate passing and resting places. Part of the lake walk should be constructed as a board walk made from fire-resistant recycled plastic with a non-slip surface.
5. NBC and the FoEP, working together through the EPMC, should seek funding for providing all the paths, including the possible contribution of S106 funds.

Other News ....

Tidy-up Flyer 2016

Community Autumn 'Tidy-up' (now called 'Enhancement') on:
Saturday 15th October

CLICK POSTER TO READ

Nationwide Volunteers
coming on 5th October

Lloyd's Bank Volunteers
coming on 13th October

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