Skip to content or view screen version

Altcross Foot Path - Keep It Open!

James Donnelly | 27.10.2009 03:03 | Free Spaces | Health | Workers' Movements | Liverpool | World

In Croxteth there is a decades old and well used path linking Altcross road to Oak Lane North, linking residential areas to Croxteth park, and enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, dog walkers and even a significant number of people flying birds in the woods.

Altcross Foot Path - Keep It Open!
Altcross Foot Path - Keep It Open!

It is also a necessary linkway for working people travelling to work, greatly reducing their journey time and distance. However, in the past six years there has been a private estate built backing onto the path, and complaints made regarding damage to property and burglaries.

The council have passed a proposal to gate the pathway behind these addresses, thereby closing one end of the path. This despite written and verbal opposition, with a seven hundred name petition. Still this may be seen as fair enough if there were an alternative route on offer, but with no such satisfactory agreement, the council intends to push ahead with the closure and partial segregation of an area.

On 16th October 2009, the area was visited and found to be remarkably clean and well conditioned, and local people spoken to had for the most part no idea of the intended closure, and were overwhelmingly supportive of the pathway remaining open as users of the amenity. This included several residents of the new estate with properties adjacent to the vilified path.

The residents with gardens backing onto the pathway at either side would receive keys to these gates, though as the alley is too narrow for mass storage of bins, and the properties (as yet) do not have back gates onto the alley, this would seem redundant.

It becomes clear therefore that the path, following complaints by private residents new to the area, is to become free only to those who can afford it. While walkers, cyclists, dogwalkers, Falcon fliers, children playing, and the working class in general have either to like or lump a longer route, or accept their concrete confines.

If you are opposed to gating/closure take a look at our Yahoo Group and consider joining it.

James Donnelly
- Homepage:


Hide the following 4 comments

other assistance

27.10.2009 09:02

If you've not already done so, contact your local Ramblers group - they too are massively against this widespread gating policy and will help campaign plus providing legal assistance where necessary.


Relevant Documents

28.10.2009 12:58

6. The persons responsible for maintaining the barriers are Enterprise-Liverpool Limited, Newton Road, Liverpool, L13 3HS.

People could, perhaps ask Enterprise Liverpool to open the gate to allow persons who are not involved in any of the activities outlined in section 2 of the Order free passage over a public right of way.

Uninterested Party

Letter published in Thursday's Liverpool Echo 29th October 2009

30.10.2009 21:03

Bridge too far

COUNCILLORS voted on October 14 to gate/close the Altcross foot path in Croxteth in spite of council officers’ advice against. The foot path is decades old and well used.

Passionate and reasoned objectors like me sent letters and addressed the meeting, additionally over 700 locals signed a petition.

All the local councillors, who live in the Croxteth Hall estate, support closure.

Councillors leave regular users with no alternative route to access Croxteth Hall Park or Dam woods.

They voted to close out walkers, cyclists, a couple of young hawk owners, countless dog walkers, young people and parents taking their children for an afternoon in Croxteth Hall Park.

The foot path also provides access to the library, sports centre, doctor’s, shops, Post Office, health care centre, the communiversity and the main bus routes on Altcross Road.

What a horrible early Christmas present for the entire Croxteth community.

Kai Andersen, via email

Kai Andersen
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:


15.11.2009 23:25


This isn’t just about a footpath, this is about much more, we’re talking about a footpath that is said to be more than 500 years old, that goes back to the early 1500s. The wider Liverpool 11 community has already lost more than most of us can bare to remember in the past two decades, playing fields, the local further education college and adult education centre, a number of schools, Sayers Bakery in Norris Green, closed and demolished earlier this year, the last big employer in Liverpool 11. Our community has withstood a stream of social injustices - is it any wonder we’ve experienced such serious crime and disorder here recently. Many of us, including my family and one of my next door neighbours have seen our former homes and neighbourhoods demolished. We’ve had the Norris Green ‘Boot’ housing estate demolished and neighbourhood broken up, we’ve recently had two estates demolished in Croxteth. This year Croxteth Community Comprehensive school was given notice of closure in August 2010.

It really is TIME for us to stand up and say “enough is enough” in Liverpool 11. We can’t continue to live under constant threat of losing services, resources, homes, schools and facilities by order of the council - NOW we’re going to fightback! It begins with defending this centuries old public foot path!

Liverpool’s Lib-Dem Councillors voted, against senior council officers advice, on 14th of October at the Traffic and Highways Representation Committee (THRC) to gate/close Altcross Foot Path in Croxteth. The foot path starts in Altcross Road, where I live, and passes between the six years old Riviera Drive estate and the older Cubert Road onwards through Dam Woods, passing by the 1980’s built Croxteth Hall Park private housing estate, where Reece Jones was shot, onwards through to Oak Lane North where it meets a pedestrian crossing and the Kirkby Drive Gate entrance into Croxteth Hall Park.

The single reason given for closing Altcross Foot Path is because it’s a focus for crime, that closure will somehow stop crime in that area, but regular foot path users have stated to me in person that they haven’t themselves experienced crime while walking through the foot path over many years. A family who lives on the Riviera Drive estate, whose home backs directly on to the foot path also stated to me in person that their family have not suffered crime from the foot path since they moved in over fives years ago.

There have been letters in the Liverpool Echo covering the issue. On October 14th the Council heard our passionate opposition to the gating/closure of the Altcross foot path, additionally a 700 name petition was also submitted. I myself sent in a letter of 'objection' and also spoke at the council meeting. The Ramblers Association also addressed the meeting, the Primary Health Care Trust also submitted a letter of objection as did directors of the Croxteth Communiversity and Alt Valley Community Trust and a broad range of other local people.

On October 30th the order to gate and close the foot path was signed. I was originally told gating would occur within three weeks after 30th of October. Last week I was informed by email from the council’s legal services the following “I anticipate that the gates will not be fitted until next month.” So now it could ‘officially’ be any day in December. The reality is that closure of the foot path will not deal effectively with crime in the area, as the head of the council's own 'Community Safety' stated clearly right at the end of the meeting. A car was broken into on the driveway next to Altcross Road foot path entrance sometime before 7am on Tuesday 10th November, the locked alley gate would not have stopped this crime as the attack on the car was plainly made over a low fence on the main road outside of the planned alley gate.

What gating/closure does do though is arbitrarily and collectively punish the whole community of Croxteth for the crimes and misbehaviour of the few. Two huge and permanently locked metal gates will physically divide old Croxteth from new Croxteth, friends and family from easily visiting one another. I live in old Croxteth, at the Altcross Road end.
All three local councillors live in new Croxteth on the private Croxteth Hall estate which will be closed off from old Croxteth. Young and old alike will be permanently locked out from the public foot path and access to Dam Woods. A number of young harrier hawk flyers will now be at a loss as where to take their birds to fly, additionally locals use the foot path to access fishing locations. The foot path provides the safest and shortest route to Croxteth Hall Park, additionally it will impact seriously upon residents of Croxteth Hall Park who daily use the foot path to get to the regular bus routes on Altcross Road, the sports centre, library, post office, shops, health care centre, schools, other services and to get to work.

This is a poorly thought out and reactionary decision by councillors that will physically segregate Croxteth. The vast majority of people in Croxteth haven't been informed of the imminent closure of the public foot path on Altcross Road. There is a lot of anger, upset and disbelief that a 500 years old foot path could just be gated/locked and people who use it daily will be permanently excluded as will others who use it less frequently in winter. I only knew it was going to be closed because I live on Altcross Road and was able to register my 'objection' to closure, the vast majority of the community haven’t been asked or informed so they could not object to closure.

I organised a meeting for ‘objectors to closure’. The Emergency Meeting took place on Monday 9th November at 7pm at the Croxteth Sports Centre on Altcross Road, opposite the foot path entrance. However it was undermined by the few who vocally and aggressively want gating/closure and physical division of Croxteth. I was informed by the police that they’d had an anonymous tip off that violence was expected at the meeting, the few supporters of gating/closure aggressively attempted to undermine the meeting, I was regularly and rudely shouted down, the next day a couple from that meeting verbally abused and insulted me at our community picket while I was speaking to people.

We’ve tried it the so called ‘democratic way’ - letters, petitions, speaking to councillors and attending committees – the process failed us!

The only option now left to us is to “legally” and “peacefully” protest in our community against the posts going in and gates going up!

Croxteth -as a community- is now in dispute with Liverpool City Council.

Come and visit us between 8am and 9.30am by the Altcross Foot Path entrance. Altcross Road, Croxteth. Opposite the ‘Communiversity’ and Sport Centre, on the 14A/14C Bus Route from town.
8am every week day – since Monday 9th November.

Support against gating/closure is growing. I’m on the community picket every week day, drivers beep us as they drive past, others give the thumbs up, local people have brought us cups of tea, parents taking children to school stop and say hello. We’re there daily to “Keep It Open!” and speak to people and tell them why it’s simply an injustice against the entire Croxteth community. We’ve argued and reasoned with gating/closure supporters and a few now see the bigger picture and realising the repercussions of gating/closure upon the community now support our campaign to “Keep It Open!”

LATEST: (Sunday 15th November 2009)
On Sunday 15th at the end of the Breakfast for Palestine event I was able to briefly address an audience of many hundreds about the situation, for which I thank Liverpool Friends of Palestine, support shown was fantastic and a boost to morale. A group of Palestinian Fire Fighters, offered their support for our campaign, but due to a fully booked up schedule can’t visit our “community picket”.

Kai Andersen
mail e-mail:
- Homepage: