For those who may not be aware, The Dome and Hockley Park are Park Home sites situated to the West of Hullbridge village on the bank of the River Crouch.
The two Park Home sites used to be connected to Hullbridge by a footpath which went along the bank of the River Crouch towards Hullbridge, coming out by the slipway next to the Anchor, the only foot connection to the village. This footpath was swept away a number of years ago however and despite repeated requests to Essex County Council they have refused to reinstate it. This leaves Lower Road, which has no footpaths, the only walkable route into Hullbridge. This is a busy road and residents would be putting their lives at risk if they took this option.
Alternatively residents could catch the bus. Buses used to run regularly from the sites and were a lifeline for those who could not drive, however in recent years these have been repeatedly cut and all that are left are the No. 10 which runs on Wednesdays only during term time (Paglesham to Rayleigh and back via Hullbridge) and the 820 which runs Mon-Fri, again only during term times and only to Sweyne Park School and back, via the Anchor in Hullbridge, giving no direct access to Rayleigh High Street. At weekends and during the school holidays no buses run.
This is an appalling state of affairs, residents of The Dome and Hockley Park are effectively cut off if they do not have a car, and many residents don’t. They cannot go anywhere at weekends or during the school holidays without risking their life by walking along Lower Road. The County Council and out County Councillor have ignored the residents and the problems caused by this isolation, it seems as though they simply do not care, or possibly haven’t even realised there is a problem, we are not sure which reflects more badly.
District councillor for the area Michael Hoy has spoken to people about reinstating the footpath and getting a better bus service, but has so far been unsuccessful In standing for Essex County Council he expects, as the County Councillor for the area, to both improve the bus service to the sites and get pedestrian access for the residents.