Village may lose 'dangerous' paths
Published 18/10/2010 | 16:59
A medieval village could lose its cobbled paths because they are feared to be too dangerous for pedestrians.
The cobbles in the historic settlement of Dunster, Somerset, could be taken up due to their uneven nature and poor state of repair.
The village dates back to the Bronze and Iron Age and is regarded as one of the most-perfectly preserved medieval villages in England.
It attracts thousands of visitors a year because of its 1,000-year-old castle and quaint features including the medieval cobbled streets.
People have been tripping over the cobbles on the High Street, with injuries varying from a broken arm, a cut forehead and sprained ankles, which ironically is also the reason no one will make repairs.
Local business owners are worried about facing litigation if they repair the cobbles themselves and now a local group is thinking of removing them and laying down a smooth pavement instead.
The Dunster Working Group, which includes representatives from Somerset County Council, the local parish council, National Trust and the Exmoor National Park Authority, say they are looking at different ways of making the cobbles safe.
Chairman Paul Toogood said: "The trouble is nobody is responsible for the pavements, they don't belong to anyone.
"In an ideal world we would like to lift the cobbles and lay them again, but we have to think about litigation, if someone falls over we could be sued.
"The cobbles on the one side of the street are dangerous, extremely dangerous. They have six to seven inch holes in and we've had to call the ambulance five times for people that have fallen over this year alone."