Of all recreational facilities in Lerwick, few have such universal appeal as the path round Clickimin Loch. Babies taking the first faltering steps, joggers, cyclists of all ages, dog walkers, pensioners and pupils walking to the AHS cribbing last night’s homework.
Having lived overlooking the path for 25 years, I have suggestions for improving the experience.
First, a sign similar to the one at the South End of Commercial Street at the entrance to Westerloch Drive which is, to all practical purposes, a cul de sac.
There is no need for a higher speed limit than 20 miles an hour, the footpath is narrow and uneven while cars, cyclists and pedestrians can comfortably use the road as it is – as indeed they already do.
The second point concerns parking. Many walkers and dog owners park on the junction of Westerloch Drive and Andrewstown Brae (a blind junction) presenting a danger to drivers and pedestrians. Some even park on the path before the bollards; unnecessary and a danger to everyone. Naturally, double yellow lines apply to everyone but themselves.
The junction with the South Road is sometimes frightening. The junction is almost blind, and while vehicles coming in on the South Road present no danger when travelling at the legal speed, many break the speed limit making it impossible to exit Westerloch Drive with safety.
While the path round the loch is excellent, the walk from the Tesco roundabout to Westerloch Drive is near impossible. A narrow, uneven badly patched pavement, heavily encroached on by street furniture, bushes and assorted perils alongside a narrow and very busy road.
Perhaps thought be given and money could be put by to construct a path on the loch side of the houses so a circular walk could be enjoyed by all in safety.
Finally, the causeway ‘short cut’ at the North West of the loch – for some years railed off with a tatty crush barrier.
Why can’t it be repaired and used as a feature? After all, it’s a good deal less dangerous than the public access to the lifeboat pier.
No doubt ‘Health and Safety’ have a list of supposed dangers, however to the best of my knowledge, the only creature to fall in (many years ago) was a West Highland terrier which got excited at the sight of a duck.