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Letter: Continued Towpath Closure is Discriminatory

Published on: 19 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 22 Mar, 2022
From: R Broster
See: ‘We Don’t Know’ When Weir Repair Will Be Completed Admits Lead Councillor
The response to my husband’s fatal accident, when he died while kayaking in 2016, clearly demonstrated the multi-organisational nature of the River Wey management which seems to have beset any resolution for re-establishing the towpath over Tumbling Bay weir.
As far as I can make out, the Environment Agency and Thames Water took responsibility for the weir repair as that is within their flood protection remit. But the path repair is at the mercy of a difference of opinion between the National Trust and Guildford Borough Council.
I fully agree with those who feel that insufficient action has been taken to put in a temporary replacement. A short-term fix would relieve pressure on those negotiating a full solution and limit the reputational damage to all agencies involved.
In the meantime, the alternative route over the footbridge by Guildford Rowing Club discriminates against anyone with a mobility disability, or elderly people unable to use stairs. Both of these protected characteristics (Equalities Act 2010) are being actively ignored while the National Trust and GBC are in a standoff. It might leave them open to legal challenge.
And I can’t help but note that the NT is one of the richest charities in the country.

 

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test 4 Responses to Letter: Continued Towpath Closure is Discriminatory

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    March 19, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    I agree. The old Walnut Bridge further down stream by the station was removed while fully servicible. It could have been cut to length and installed at very low cost.

  2. Linda Baker Reply

    March 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Coming back to the new bridge installation by the railway station, can anyone tell me if there will be access from the towpath to the railway station, Guildford Park and Farnham Road etc, as there was before the new bridge was installed?

    Editor’s response: We understand there will be but that part of the new bridge has yet to be installed.

  3. S Callanan Reply

    March 21, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t know who’s in the right about this. What do GBC’s lawyers have to say? How much will the necessary work cost? What do GBC’s surveyors, architects and engineers have to say?

    But what I suggest is, having taken all appropriate advice, and thought about the position with some care, GBC sends a very formal letter to the National Trust saying they will carry out the work without admitting any liability to do so, and if it’s found to be the responsibility of the National Trust, the council will seek to recover costs from them at that later date.

    Perhaps this has already been considered and ruled out?

  4. M Smith Reply

    March 22, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    This is getting very silly. Are there no adults in GBC or the NT who can sit down and sort this out? If not, please can they all resign and let someone else have a go?

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