'It's a joy' - how village path work has given freedom to disabled man

Terry Buckland

Terry Buckland, who lives in Winterton, said his life has changed since Low Road, a path linking the village to Somerton, was resurfaced. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

A disabled man's life has changed after a coastal path was resurfaced, allowing him visit a neighbouring village for the first time in years.

Terry Buckland, who lives in Winterton, has been using a wheelchair since 2012.

Until recently, his outings were confined to the streets around the village itself, where he often did not feel safe, especially when having to cross the road, because of cars.

Low Road reopening

From left to right: Kevin Dowe, operations manager at Tarmac; Chanel Roe, supervisor at Tarmac; John Smithson, Winterton parish councillor; Marie Hartley, Winterton parish councillor; James Bensley, Norfolk county councillor; Andrew Middleton, cycling and walking project officer at Norfolk County Council. In front: Terry Buckland with Jemima the dog. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

But in April, a well-trampled countryside path called Low Road, which links the village with Somerton just over a mile to the west, was resurfaced after Norfolk County Council had received complaints about its condition.

Low Road Winterton

Low Road, a path in Winterton, before it was resurfaced in April this year. - Credit: Google Maps

The job has meant that the track, once muddy and uneven, is now accessible for Mr Buckland, who has described the new surface as "absolutely brilliant".

"It's the one place now I can go to in the village where I feel safe, where there are no cars, and you can relax," he said.


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"I've now been to Somerton on this road, but before it was resurfaced you couldn't go down that way."

Terry Buckland Low Road Winterton

Terry Buckland, who lives in Winterton, said his life has changed since Low Road, a path linking the village to Somerton, was resurfaced. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Mr Buckland, who did not see anybody for nine months during the lockdown, has been using the path everyday, heading from the entrance at Empsom's Loke to a park behind the parish church, where his dog, Jemima, "enjoys a run-about".

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"It's a joy," he said. "I can just come down here with no worries. I can come down all year round and I couldn't do that before.

"It's given me a new way to go, it's a new freedom.

"Before I could come down but only if it was exceptionally dry. It was terribly uneven," he said.

Low Road Winterton

Low Road, a path linking WInterton with Somerton, has been resurfaced after Norfolk County Council received complaints about its condition. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Winterton parish councillor Marie Hartley said the work involved a lot of co-operation with Norfolk County Council and Tarmac, which laid the new gravel surface.

James Bensley, county councillor, mentioned the "emotion of the occasion".

"It brings you down to earth and shows how we take things for granted and how little things can make a big difference," he said.

The job, costing under £60,000, took around two weeks, with the path reopened at the end of April.

As the track is a restricted byway, motorised vehicles are not permitted to use it unless for private access, statutory undertakings or highway maintenance.


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