'Dangerous' pile of dumped tyres forces footpath walkers onto 'more hazardous' route

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·3-min read
A mountain of illegally dumped tyres is set to close a coastal footpath for a year. (SWNS)
A mountain of illegally dumped tyres is set to close a coastal footpath for a year. (SWNS)

A mountain of illegally dumped tyres is set to close a coastal footpath for a whole year, forcing walkers onto a "more dangerous" route.

Tyre piles line the footpath in Gravesend, Kent, with wires and debris sticking out.

Entrance to the passage has been blocked by a newly erected fence with multiple signs saying: "Path closed. Dangerous tyres."

After the fly-tipping, Kent County Council closed the English Coast Path street for six months, declaring it a danger to pedestrians.

But the closure is due to drag on for a year, as it has been shut since December last year and is not due to reopen for another four months.

Walkers says they have been forced onto a more dangerous route. (SWNS)
Walkers says they have been forced onto a more dangerous route. (SWNS)

A diversion route has been created along a road around an industrial estate, but some walkers have complained that it is more dangerous than walking past the tyres.

Pete Skelton, 68, said lorries and cars were always parked on the diversion route pavement, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road which vehicles often speed down.

He said: "If you go early morning, you get the lorries and commuters and school buses driving past. It is quite dangerous to walk.

"I cannot understand how they see these tyres as a danger when the road is more dangerous. It is not the prettiest walk but it is a walk that should be open rather than making people walk onto and around the main road."

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He added of the path: "You would have thought they would have done something about it to get it open. It is just odd.

"Why has it been closed that long? That is the frustrating part about it. It is an odd world out there."

Jodie Channing, 42, walks her dog around the area every day and lives in a nearby block of flats.

She said: "It is just so dangerous. You have to take the dog into the road too, which is not safe. If you want to take your kids out and be safe you cannot, it is dangerous."

Kent County Council would not comment on what it felt was dangerous about the tyres, if any had already been removed or when they might be shifted from the site.

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But the planned reopening date is 11 December, exactly 12 months since the path was first closed.

A council spokesman said: "Officers have a responsibility to protect the safety of the public when using the path.

"While some of the tyres have been cleared, there are challenges in completely clearing the area and therefore we are currently unable to reopen it.

"We are working with partner agencies to progress this work at pace and hope to fully reopen the path as soon as it is safe to do so."