Whitehead’s five-star rated walk beset with safety issues
Campaigners have long sought the full restoration of Blackhead Path at Whitehead.
Earning a five-star rating from TripAdvisor, the path - on which restoration work is to commence in June - also features on WalkNI.com, a guide to walking in Northern Ireland.
Overlooking the route, of course, is Blackhead Lighthouse. It features in the Lighthouse Tourism Trail project, which was officially launched in 2013 by then Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and then Irish Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar.
A number of petitions have been drawn up over the years with residents and visitors putting their names to the drive to see the whole of the famous walkway secured for future generations to enjoy.
The most recent was almost at its target of 5,000 signatures just two days after going live in 2017, helping add fresh impetus to the fight to see Blackhead restored to full glory.
Blackhead Path Preservation Society’s Facebook page provides regular updates on the campaign.
The path has had severe subsidence issues and rock fall risks for decades. A health and safety report presented to the legacy Carrickfergus Council forced its closure before the formation of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The latter has committed itself to a multi-million pound project and has been working with geologists and the Health and Safety Executive since MEA Council’s inception in 2015 to monitor subsidence and start repairs.
Fences and signs alerting the public to the risks have been put up, but some people have ignored them. Fence posts and locks have been removed with metal saws and council has issued repeat warnings to people of the serious risks of using the path in its current state.
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