Residents win 40-year battle over GWH path

Residents have campaigned to get a footpath upgraded from Liden to the hospital. Pictured are Randeep Grewal, Jasbinder Grewal, John Macclay, Coun Derique Montaut, Caroll Skiggs and Jas Grewal

Residents have campaigned to get a footpath upgraded from Liden to the hospital. Pictured are Randeep Grewal, Jasbinder Grewal, John Macclay, Coun Derique Montaut, Caroll Skiggs and Jas Grewal

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

A FORTY-year battle by residents to have a path which can help them reach the Great Western Hospital has finally been won.

The surfacing of the path, which stretches from Okebourne Park up to the Sedgebrook roundabout on Liden Drive, was completed just before Christmas.

It was previously just grass and mud, which was effectively unusable during periods of heavy rain and even dangerous if the temperatures dropped to below freezing.

As a result residents were forced to step on to the increasingly busy road.

The problem became worse with the building of the GWH as elderly residents tried to navigate their way along the path.

However, now the flat surface has been fully Tarmacked it is easily walkable and provides a much safer route.

John Macclay, 74, of Sedgebrook, has lived in the area since 1977 and says the new path will make it far easier for people to use.

He said: “Ever since I have lived here it has been a huge problem. When the weather got bad it just became sludge which meant no-one could use it, as they would be ankle deep in mud.

“Instead you would see people walking along the road as they had no other option. It will make it much easier for people who are trying to get to the hospital.”

John has spent many years, along with other residents, trying to get something done but after seeing someone struggling in a wheelchair, decided to give it one more try.

He said: “I went along to the surgery of local councillors to raise the problem and explain that something needed to be done.

“I am pleased the issue has now been sorted. There are still problems on the path the other side of Sedgebrook so I hope they can be sorted soon as well.”

A drainpipe has been fitted alongside the path which will run into a nearby sewer to prevent a build up of water seen recently in the area.

The path’s construction was pushed forward with help from Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) who says it is good to give residents some positive news.

He said: “When I first became a councillor I was told that this was something which would never get done but the residents never let it go and kept pushing me.

“This is down to their efforts and a good example of the work residents can achieve.”

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