Yob-way set to re-open

The Coppull subway on Spendmore Lane could be re-opening soon
The Coppull subway on Spendmore Lane could be re-opening soon

A closed-off subway once plagued by yobs is set to reopen.

The underpass, at the junction of Spendmore Lane and Station Road in Coppull, was used as a hangout by gangs binge drinking for years before it was shut back in 2009.

But Roger Turner, of Spendmore Lane, has spearheaded a four-year campaign to have it reopened.

He said: “The inspector said that you cannot go around closing public rights of way such as this one.

“The only reason that they put forward was anti-social behaviour and the inspector said that was not a valid reason.

“Lancashire County Council have now got to put up notices nearby to find out if people think that it is a right of way.”

He added: “I used it regularly when it was open. I don’t think that it should be taken away from the people.”

Another walkway further up but the footpath is just 2ft wide alongside a section of road used by lorries.

Mr Turner added: “It is only a matter of time before someone gets injured or even killed there.

“All I want is for there to be safe alternative to that footpath for the local people.

“The only other option is to have a bridge over the top of the track.

“The village is cut in two by the subway being closed.”

Before the closure, Tom Dunn, of nearby Railway Terrace, claimed that his life was blighted by hordes of teenagers.

He and his wife found it “very intimidating” and they said they used to clean up broken bottles.

Coun Matthew Crow, who represents the Coppull ward, said: “I know that for some residents the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to recommend the reopening of the Spendmore Lane subway will come as a disappointment some four years after the original decision to close the right of way.

“It is always difficult when inspectors from outside the local area become involved in cases of this nature.

“But it is also right that there is an avenue of appeal for members of the public to challenge such decisions and the inspector has recommended against that original decision.

“The closure of the subway access, it has now emerged, was never the long-term

solution to anti-social behaviour that it was billed.

“It is not enough for councils to simply move a problem on without making any concerted effort to solve its root causes.

“It is the planning inspector’s right to recommend reopening this access route, but it is my responsibility to ensure that the problems associated with the past are not allowed to return.”