Flooded path blocks route to school with mud forcing parents into cars

    Muddy Path

    The head of a Tunbridge Wells primary is backing a ten-year drive to ensure Rusthall pupils can walk unhindered to school.

    Clare Owen, of Bishops Down, said she ‘shared the concerns’ of Jo Robinson, a mother of two who has campaigned for improvements to a footpath frequently blocked by floodwater.

    Mrs Robinson said she was frustrated by Kent County Council’s lack of action to improve Still Green footpath, between Woodside Road, Rusthall, and Coniston Avenue in Tunbridge Wells.

    The route is often blocked, forcing parents to detour by car, causing further congestion.

    Mrs Robinson, 43, said: “Hundreds of schoolchildren use the path to get to Bishops Down, Bennett, the girls’ grammar and others as it’s the only footpath connecting Rusthall to Tunbridge Wells.

    “But it’s tricky if you end up having to wade through mud. It can become impassable, the water so deep it will go over wellingtons.

    “Some parents now drive to school, even though they’d rather walk.”

    “I’m constantly emailing the KCC public rights of way officer. And he does his best. But it’s time someone higher up listened and funding found for a permanent solution. Otherwise, KCC is throwing money away fixing things one at a time.”

    A KCC spokesman said: “The path is in a dip and water and mud washes down and collects.

    “Although there is a drain, it soon blocks and after a lot of rain, there’s nowhere for the water to drain to. KCC clears the path as soon as possible.

    “Residents have suggested a boardwalk or a new path higher up, but costs are prohibitively high. Mud would also collect under any structure.

    “We will discuss with the landowner to see if there is a possibility of a longer term solution.”