Thursday, 19 July 2018

Opposition to path closure

CAMPAIGNERS are opposing an application to shut part of the Thames Path during Henley Festival week next year.

Since 1998, a section of the footpath has been diverted to prevent walkers from accessing the area in front of the “floating” stage, where the headline acts perform.

The Open Spaces Society, which is based in Henley, has objected, as it does every year.

It has urged Wokingham Borough Council to refuse the application and tell the festival to rearrange its activities to make closure unnecessary.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We are dismayed that once again the festival proposes to ride roughshod over the path’s users.

“They include visitors from this country and overseas as well as local people wanting a quiet walk by the river.

“For many years, it operated successfully without closing the path for such long periods.

“The Thames Path National Trail, which is of international importance, should not be interfered with merely for a private event.”

Remenham Parish Council and the Ramblers have also opposed the application.

The festival says the closure is necessary during the build and dismantling of the stage for safety reasons and during the festival for logistical reasons.

Chief executive Charlotte Geeves said: “We always discuss our application in detail with the borough council to ensure the closure lasts no longer than is strictly necessary for public safety or from an audience point of view.”

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