Airport walk gets diverted to a new horizon

Fund-raisers have been told it is not safe to go ahead with a sponsored walk up the airport haul road on St Helena – for the time being.

Fresh digging has taken place on the 14-kilometre track, creating a risk of unstable ground.

New Horizons youth service planned to stage the walk, through part of the island that few people visit, on Sunday, 11 February 2013.

The road was built to allow Basil Read construction vehicles to travel from Rupert’s Bay to the airport site on Prosperous Bay Plain. It will be turned into a public road once the airport is built.

Janet Lawrence, the airport project director, said: “Basil Read has been taking advantage of the good weather in recent weeks to continue works on the haul road, including excavation work to take the road to its final alignment.

“These works are still ongoing and there are obvious safety concerns with members of the public entering areas that have recently been excavated.

“Whilst Basil Read can mitigate risk for their workers travelling through the haul road in construction vehicles, this is not as simple in the case of pedestrians.

“Basil Read therefore took an operational decision to postpone the sponsored walk. The haul road is a construction site and remains closed to the public in the interests of safety.”

Nick Stevens of New Horizons said: “We were really disappointed that the walk was cancelled, as so many people were looking forward to doing it.

“But we have to accept the decision made by Basil Read, as they would know best in regards to whether the road is safe or not for people to walk.”

He said the walk would still go ahead on a different route, starting from Francis Plain and taking in Knollcombes, White Gate, Casons, Mackintosh, Rosemary Plain, Scotland, and Red Hill.

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