I posted not so long ago about Sefton Council’s Rights of Way Liaison Group which I happen to sit on representing both Lydiate and Maghull Councils.
An issue raised with me recently by a Maghull resident was with regard to someone in their family having disability restrictions who finds it hard to access our local countryside.
Accessible paths like this are required by people with disabilities
There’s no doubt this is an issue and it’s one that is often compounded by the obstacles that are placed on public rights of way to try to stop abuse of them by motorbikes/quadbikes. The Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path and Cheshire Lines Path come to mind here. This is of course on top of routes often being uneven, crossing fields, stiles etc. All of these things can be overcome by those of us who are capable of walking/climbing freely but they are a barrier to those with restricted mobility.
I undertook to investigate the matter with the Sefton Council officer who leads our local Liaison Group and this is what he said in response:-
In regards to fully accessible countryside routes, unfortunately these are limited in number.
It is an action in the current Rights of Way Improvement Plan to work on improving the accessibility of the network and work in partnership with people with mobility impairments and as such efforts and improvements to accessibility are being made.
Under the Active Walks scheme there is an independent walks pack that has 24 walking routes in various locations around the borough and some of these are promoted as being accessible. The details of these routes can be found on the Sefton website via
I think this is clearly a piece of work in progress and with severely restricted amounts of public money being around these days you would have to be quite an optimist to think that much will happen soon. However, whenever I get the opportunity I intend to bang the drum for disability access to Sefton’s countryside.
This is the front cover of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan made reference to above:-
This document, which covers all of Merseyside, runs to 98 pages and is due to be updated next year
it runs to 98 pages and is due to be updated by 2018.