Who Should Manage the Island’s Footpaths?

Douglas South MHK Sarah Maltby looks set to bring her first motion to Tynwald next month as she picks up a Tynwald Day petition.

Mrs Maltby has picked up the petition of David Buttery who wants to see a single gov agency be made responsible for the maintenance of all of the island’s public right of ways.

In her motion, which is due to go before the November Tynwald, Mrs Maltby will ask for a committee of three members be appointed to consider, consult on and report on the petition of Mr Buttery by the end of April 2022. Indeed, particularly, in the 

The Manx Labour Party MHK told Gef: ‘It speaks for itself really but the reason it matters to me is because along with the emphasis on Health and Wellbeing which I have a big interest in promoting it also highlights the lack of joined up delivery of services to our residents… how on earth can we expect the Island population to have faith in the Government’s vision if it fails to even delegate which department maintains public pathways, bridleways and green lanes effectively and efficiently!

‘A single Government agency would have a clear list of aims and priorities that can logically and routinely work through. This is why I picked up the petition.’

Mrs Maltby confirmed that Deputy Speaker Daphne Caine will second her motion. 

The petition of Mr Buttery notes that the island’s footpaths are managed by a combination of the DoI, DEFA, Manx Utilities and several local authorities, which he said results in ‘inconsistent levels of maintenance’. He also noted that the gov promotes the island as a walking holiday destination and the footpaths as good for the health, fitness and general wellbeing of islanders. 

When Mr Butter used his ancient right as Manx resident to petition Tynwald, he told Gef: ‘At the moment, they’re managed by three different government agencies and as a result, different agencies have different priorities so some of them are left quite neglected. So what I’m calling for is a single government agency with sole responsibility for the footpaths and bridleways. You would then have a single priority list and a single budget to deal with them, you’d also then get a single agency to go to with reports of problems. It isn’t always clear who owns them, some of them are in private ownership and others are owned by local authorities so it’s just trying to simplify it and create a better network of footpaths.’

You can see Mr Butter’s petition below:

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