PEOPLE are “too frightened” to go out and fear they will trip up on Fordingbridge’s “appalling” pavements.

The comments were made by deputy mayor Anna Wilson during a meeting of Fordingbridge Town Council last week.

Councillor Wilson said: “The issues for people walking into town is those footpaths/pavements that come down Salisbury Road, Whitsbury Road. And basically any new development we want people to be walking. You can’t expect them to walk on those pavements. They are appalling they really are. People are saying it is too frightening to go out and that they will trip. People have tripped a lot.”

Earlier in the meeting, Hampshire County councillor Edward Heron said he had been speaking to officers about reviewing the footways and about the state of the highway in the town.

Cllr Wilson said a “big problem” was the relationship between the town council, New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council.

She added: “Quite often when we come to go to one council to put up a problem we are then directed to another council because it is not their department. Surely as councillors we are all responsible to the residents and should always champion their causes no matter which council you sit on.”

Cllr Heron said: “I will accept it is sometimes confusing to the public which council to go to. I would hope that in modern ways signposting so our joint offices tends to work quite well. I would hope councils and councillors were fairly aware of which authority they should be going to.”

Cllr Heron said there could be issues when there were long chains of communication.

“We do need to make sure not only that the footways are safe - if there are any safety defects they should be reported online and they will be looked at - but actually also inviting, which is the more difficult bit,” he added.

“We do need to all talk to each other and when we disagree, we will disagree through this but to do it in understanding that we are all trying to achieve the same thing,” said Cllr Heron.

He said in relation to developments there were talks about what work has to be done to improve the walking and cycling opportunities.

The meeting heard the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LCWIP) was being prepared across the New Forest and it would look at how cycling and walking can be improved.

Councillor Mike Jackson said the town’s neighbourhood plan would be also be looking at this.

Cllr Wilson said another problem in the high street was the heavy lorries and there was a need for an up-to-date survey to be done. Cllr Heron said partnership funding might be needed to get this done.