Merton Park Footpath To Remain Open

Consultation reveals strength of feeling on issue

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A popular Merton Park footpath running through a school is to remain open, following a decision by councillors.

The path runs from John Innes Recreational Ground towards Mostyn Road, providing a direct pedestrian route between John Innes Recreational Ground and John Innes Park.

But it crosses the Rutlish School site and was said to create potential problems for the school in delivering its responsibility to safeguard students and staff.

The school had requested the footpath be closed to the public during school hours. A lengthy consultation process started in 2010, including a public meeting and a survey.

Merton Borough council reported there were 412 completed surveys, with 40% in favour of the footpath being closed to the public during school hours, throughout the school term, whilst 60% were against.

Now an agreement has been made where the path will be kept open at all times. But there will be a pedestrian access gate alongside the main gates to the school sites on either side of the path. This could be locked remotely by the school to secure the perimeter as necessary, either to keep intruders out or to detain them on site.

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January 17, 2012