Shropshire

Shrewsbury rambler protest against footpath cuts

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Media captionPeter James said he was worried about the fate of paths

Ramblers marched to Shrewsbury's Shirehall to hand in a 3,000-signature petition against cuts which they say will mean paths fall into disrepair.

Campaigners claim routes will not be maintained and tourists will be deterred under further cuts to the footpath maintenance budget.

Shropshire Council needs to save £85.5m over the next three years.

Councillor Steve Charmley said the Conservative-run authority had prioritised the most popular paths.

He said: "Priorities have been set so that all the highest-usage routes are having more funding targeted at them.

"The routes that are proved not to be used aren't being maintained basically."

Rodney Whittaker, chairman of the trustees of the Ramblers Association, said they had offered to pay half the cost of a survey into the value of walking in Shropshire.

"It's very important that they have the proper figures on which they can base their budgets in future", he said.

The ramblers handed in the petition and were allowed to address councillors for five minutes.

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