I have just returned from an adventurous walking tour, I had to battle through thick poisonous undergrowth, overhanging needle sharp thorns on trees, it was a hazardous journey but one I undertake regularly.
Where have I been, Borneo, the Amazon rain forest or some other exotic part of the world? No, it was a walk along the Hemsworth section of the Wakefield Way.
The undergrowth is full of nettles and sticky buds and other growths I cannot identify and in places it is across the path.
The trees are so overgrown in places that I have to duck under and I am not exactly a giant, in fact my dogs only just get under and they are only 1ft 6in.
The path, when it was first opened it was 15ft wide and walkers and riders could safely pass each way without problems, bike riders could safely ride without having to stop to ensure no one was coming.
Now it is dangerous to walk let alone ride. The headroom in places is so low that I doubt if a rider could pass without doing a circus trick and riding underneath their horse.
Any child falling into the undergrowth would be nettled and hurt quite badly.
I work in and around Wakefield and notice that the closer you get to the city centre the neater it gets. Manicured verges and neat flower beds.
The “wonderful” Bull Ring which was a “shared“ space has now had flowerbeds installed to prevent pedestrians walking into the path of vehicles. In Outwood a brand new path has been laid to the old railway track.
The residents of the south of the region (Hemsworth, South Kirkby and South Elmsall) pay exactly the same council tax as the residents in Wakefield so why can we not be treated the same?
I realise that we are going through a rough financial period but surely it would be cheaper to maintain a path than to have to pay damages when someone gets hurt and puts in a claim.
Come on Wakefield let us have a little crumb of comfort and make our walk safe. It is the Wakefield Way after all.