A HILPERTON councillor is angry that Wiltshire Council has chosen the summer holiday to fence off and resurface a busy footpath between the village and Trowbridge.

The path which joins the new Elizabeth Way relief road to Middle Lane, near St Thomas’ Road in Trowbridge, will remain closed for about four weeks during the summer holiday so the council can tarmac it.

Wiltshire councillor for Hilperton, Ernie Clark, says that despite it happening in his division he knew nothing about the work and has called it ‘utter madness’.

Cllr Clark said: “Why is this work being undertaken? The parish council has not requested it, I, as the local councillor, did not request it, and the surface was perfectly adequate as it was.

“The scheme is utter madness and the timing of it beyond comprehension. The summer holiday is the path’s busiest time and the council has decided to close it for unwanted, unnecessary work.

“Wiltshire Council’s policies for maintenance work, other than annual growth clearance, are if the issue is an immediate danger to the user or there’s an obstruction that stops people using the path; neither of these priorities applies to Middle Lane.

“Is the fact that this work is being done at a time when Wiltshire Council is happy to suggest that the land either side of the path should be allocated for housing merely a coincidence? The public deserve to know the facts but, as ever, the council seems to think it can do what it likes with impunity and with no explanation to anyone – not even its elected representatives.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “This work is taking place to improve the surfacing of the path, by tarmacking a two and a half metre width. It will take about four weeks to complete, with work having started this week. There are maps on site to show alternative routes but we have identified one location where an extra sign might be helpful so we’ll make sure that’s added.”