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Path to be re-opened through RAF Uxbridge
A PATH through the centre of RAF Uxbridge which first closed 23 years ago is set to re-open to the public.
The pathway was shut in 1988 after terrorism concerns, but now the RAF have vacated the base, reasons for closure no longer remain.
Liz Segal, chair of the Vine Lane Residents Association, in Uxbridge, estimates the path will allow her to walk to Uxbridge Station in just 12 minutes, rather than 30 minutes as it does at present.
She said: "It will make a real difference to everybody who lives on Vine Lane and the surrounding roads.
"There are also children who attend St Andrew's School (in Nursery Waye) who have to walk the long way round at the moment, along really busy roads.
"We tried to re-open it last July but were told it would not be possible for health and safety reasons.
"We currently have to walk up Honey Hill, Honey Croft Hill and Park Road to get into the town centre."
After receiving the petitions, Hillingdon Council has been working alongside VSM Estates, who own RAF Uxbridge, and are planning the redevelopment, to build 1,340 homes and a primary school on site.
MP John Randall, (Con) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has also been supportive of proposals to get the plans re-opened, as have Uxbridge North councillors George Cooper, Josephine Barrett and David Yarrow.
Work has already begun on erecting fencing on both sides of the path, and is already halfway complete, along the path which is approximately 800 metres.
The fencing is necessary for health and safety reasons to prevent users from wandering onto what will be a building site.
It is estimated that work could be completed in two weeks and opened soon after that.
One problem is that the pathway is not lit, and will eventually have to be, and CCTV is also being considered.
The pathway would be open for 24 hours, as legal technicalities over public right-of-way law mean it is not possible for a path to be opened during the day and shut at night.
There is also the possibility that the pathway may have to be closed for certain small periods, while construction or demolition work is ongoing at RAF Uxbridge, which would be permitted on health and safety grounds, but Hillingdon Council said they would work with VSM Estates to advertise this to residents beforehand.
A petition hearing was heard on Wednesday night to get it re-opened, and it was also a landmark hearing as it was the first the council had considered as a result of their underused online petition service.
Did you used to use this footpath and will it make a difference to you?
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