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Anger over steel steps at Harden beauty spot
6:30am Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A flight of steel steps recently built at a Harden beauty spot has led to disbelief from some walkers and calls to have them replaced with something more suitable.
Bradford Council installed the steps near Goit Stock waterfall after receiving complaints the path around the site was too dangerous.
The council says the steel steps will “mellow” with age, but have faced calls to replace them with stone or wooden alternatives.
Although privately owned, a public right of way passes through the site, making it the responsibility of Bradford Council, and numerous walkers have suffered injuries trying to climb up to the waterfall.
Chris Thompson, who lives nearby, was so disgusted with the steps he set up a Facebook page – Goit Stock Waterfall removal of ladder – which has almost 160 ‘likes’.
He said while not opposed to having steps there, he thinks the council could have done a better job in the execution.
The joiner, who works for an outdoor furniture company, said: “I just think they should replace it with something more in keeping and sympathetic.
“I know there are a lot of other non-slip products they could have used – things that are used in places like the Dales. Galvanised steel steps here at a beauty spot are just ridiculous. I know it might be dangerous, but you can’t take the danger out of everything.”
Mary Webb, commenting on the Facebook site, said: “It’s awful and not at all sympathetic to the natural environment. It’s my favourite place and it feels spoiled.”
Kath Windett, senior rights of way officer at the council, said: “The need for improvements to this path was identified during consultations for Bradford’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan.
“There have been a number of accidents at this location due to the difficult terrain, and many people chose to turn back on this path rather than proceeding up the side of the waterfall.
“The design of the steps and the construction material were chosen to make the route as safe and accessible as possible. Timber steps would not have been as secure in the conditions.
“The materials are in keeping with the existing handrail and barrier construction further up the slope, which have been in place for more than 30 years. The new steps have only been in place for a few weeks and their appearance will mellow in time.”
Bradford councillor Simon Cooke, whose ward includes Harden, said: “We were right to try and improve access there because there has been more than one injury and we don’t want that in a popular place.
“But I have to admit I wouldn’t have done it that way – it looks like something you’d see next to some scaffolding. I am going to try and see what I can do in terms of making things look a bit better.”
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