Footpath could be shortcut to death

16:06 19 December 2012

Old Beer Road looking west. Local residents say it has dropped another six feet in the last three weeks. Photo by Chris Carson

Old Beer Road looking west. Local residents say it has dropped another six feet in the last three weeks. Photo by Chris Carson

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Walkers still riskng their lives using Seaton path alongside crumbling cliff

Walkers are continuing to risk their lives using a footpath near a Seaton landslip, it was claimed this week.

They have been pulling away safety barriers to gain access to a section of Old Beer Road where almost all the carriageway has now collapsed over the cliff edge.

Officials say they may save themselves a few minutes on their journey - but it could cost them their lives.

Nearby resident Bob Spalding, who alerted the highways authority when cracks first appeared in the road following heavy rain in July, said people were ignoring the warning signs.

“They keep forcing their way past the barriers,” he told The Herald.

“Every time the authorities patch them up they do it again. They are risking their lives - apparently the danger is not obvious enough to them.

“If the road does go in a rush it could take somebody with it – you don’t know when it’s going to go.

“I do the walk to Beer each morning and use the detour via Beer Road which adds about eight minutes to the trip.”

Mr Spalding said that while homes were currently not at risk the road was continuing to slide towards the sea. He said it had dropped a further six feet in the last three weeks.

“There have been people talking about Bailey Bridges but it is just not possible – the whole thing looks so uncertain. We just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Beer parish councillor Mike Green said he and the other councillors in the village have proposed an alternative footpath that will cut through the forest between Old Beer Road and the new highway.

The idea will be pitched to Seaton Town Council, but they say they are open to other suggestions.

No one from the highways department at Devon County Council was available to comment.

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