Coast path missing link is a big loss for seaside town

The new stretch of prom between Cobbold's Point and Jacob's Ladder.

The new stretch of prom between Cobbold's Point and Jacob's Ladder. - Credit: Archant

One of the poorest decisions made in recent years was not to complete the walkway along the coast from Felixstowe Ferry to Landguard.

The new stretch of prom – technically an access-way for vehicles to maintain the sea defences, but to the rest of us it’s a promenade – from Cobbold’s Point to Jacob’s Ladder is an excellent addition to the resort’s attractions and amenities, well used, enjoyed and much appreciated.

To have left a “missing link” between the steps and Brackenbury though is just plain ridiculous.

It still means that at certain states of the tide it is impossible to walk the resort’s coastline.

Apparently government would not give cash for the extra length of access-way.

One of the government’s pet projects is to create a coastal path around Britain and surely a couple of million extra could have been found to have completed another section and given the resort a very real attraction.

Whitehall though is not keen on paying for sea defences to protect private property – and the responsibility lies with the people whose homes sit on the clifftops.

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If this area of cliff collapses – and surely the risk is greater now there is a short weak spot between two sets of modern defences, where the sea will inevitably attack – the householders will have to foot the bill.

The rest of the £10million scheme is crucial to protecting not just private land but also public areas.

At low tide it is possible for able-bodied people to get through, but there is no access for the disabled.

One of the flights of steps is also missing over the groynes at present, which means a bit of scramble through deep shingle at the foot of the cliff.

I like the steps and their platforms because they offer a different view of the coast, but they may vanish altogether. Reducing the height of the groynes is an option being considered.