CONCERNED residents and councillors are calling for action to tackle and overgrown footpath which they say is posing a danger to the safety of children and lone walkers.

The footpath which starts off Lark Hill, Farnworth, passes through a patch of land to the Kearsley Spur motorway footbridge, connecting with Moss Road in Kearsley.

In recent months the area, which sits on private land, has become muddy and overrun with underbrush and weeds.

Catherine Warham, who makes the journey twice a day to commute to and from work at the Lyon Road industrial estate, said the condition of the path is “absolutely appalling”.

She further claimed that the footpath has become “haven for a predator or paedophile”and a blackspot for drug taking with needles and drug paraphernalia littering the ground.

“I fear for the safety of the young kids that are walking across there and those that are about to start back at school,” Ms Warham said.

“At night there’s no lighting so how can you get there safely, or do you take your chances?”

Bolton Council confirmed that the footpath is an informal route and is not maintained by council staff.

However ward councillors have raised issue with the footpath’s status, questioning how a public footbridge can only be accessible by an unmaintained footpath through private land.

Councillor Julie Pattison said: “This is a pretty secluded area to start with so with all the extra growth its dangerous, and there have been two attacks there in the past.

“It is a well used route, not just by school children but by people who live on the nearby estates and work on the industrial estate, so it is important that it is cleared.”

Councillor Paul Heslop added: “We are trying to establish the true status of this path because we have been told by the council that it is not a public footpath.

“However we wondered why someone would build a footbridge over the M61to the other side if it is not a footpath.

“That does not seem right to us so we are asking for further clarification from officers.

“We are also exploring the possibilities and have been talking with community groups around Farnworth and Kearsley to see if we can get apparatus down and try and get the foliage down and make it accessible.”

In order to tackle the problem Ms Warham is also appealing for volunteers to help her clean up the footpath. She says she has purchased flag stones which she intends to put down to prevent the pathway becoming boggy, and is planning to cut back the undergrowth.

Volunteers can contact Ms Warham on 07378321194.