Section of Deeside to Wirral cycle route to reopen after concerns over anti-social behaviour forced closure
A popular pathway which links Deeside Industrial Park to the Wirral will reopen today (Wednesday, May 20) after being closed for nearly two week due to anti-social behaviour issues.
A section of Burton Marsh greenway – also known as National Cycle Route 568 – was closed to the public on 9 May by the RSPB due to a ‘high numbers of trespassers’ walking onto the Dee Estuary reserve.
An RSPB spokesperson said staff were “verbally abused and threatened by members of the public, and had to call on stretched police forces for support in managing this section of path.”
“That was following a significant rise in the levels of anti-social behaviour on this section of permissive path in recent weeks; ranging from repeated abusive behaviour, verbal threats and trespass onto Burton Mere Wetlands.”
The decision to close that section of the path followed a ‘serious incident’ requiring ’emergency police assistance’ on the early May bank holiday, where a member of RSPB staff was allegedly subject to “verbal abuse and extremely threatening behaviour.”
“The local police were shocked at the extent of the anti-social behaviour witnessed by people using the path and were very concerned at the number of people flouting government guidance on social distancing.” The RSPB spokesperson added.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, Flintshire County Council, the RSPB and Sustrans have been working on a way forward and the path will now reopen today (Wednesday, 20 May).
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing said: “I’m sure many residents will welcome the news that this picturesque greenway will be reopened. Many thanks for your patience while this route was temporarily closed.
Whether you are dog walking, cycling or enjoying daily exercise along the route, please respect other users of the greenway at all times. Social distancing is essential and no large groups should gather along the route.
“It was disappointing that a minority of people had been ignoring social distancing rules. We all need to find a way of dealing with shared spaces to play our part in beating coronavirus.”
An RSPB spokesperson said: “We were delighted to open this permissive path for the community in 2013, to provide people with green transport links while enjoying views across our RSPB Dee Estuary reserve and were shocked at the levels of anti-social behaviour arising in the last few weeks.
“We have put measures in place so the path can now be re-opened, however we remind people that RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands is still closed, so users must stay on the path and follow the bye-laws which include keeping dogs on leads, as well as current social distancing guidelines.”
There will be regular checks of the pathway, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and could result in the greenway being closed again.
Users of the greenway are asked to follow the Governments guidelines regarding social distancing, always stay two metres away from people not from your own household, and wash your hands as soon as you return home.
[Photo: Save Burton Greenway]
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