A NEW footpath has been opened to the public to increase safety for commuters.

The ribbon has been cut at the footway and cycle link from Cambridge Drive into Hunter Drive and Springbank Avenue in Lawford.

It links the newly-built Summer Park development by Rose Builders with the existing Lawford Dale, meaning villagers now have safe access to the bottom of Cox’s Hill and Manningtree Railway Station.

Lawford councillor Carlo Guglielmi said: “This latest community benefit from the Rose Builders’ development of Summers Park marks a very important attainment for the residents of Lawford. “People walking to Manningtree Station in the morning can now do so in a safe and well-lit environment, and those who commute daily from the Hunter’s Drive estate can do so without having to walk all the way up to the roundabout and then back down again.”

The path footway link is part of a package of community benefits from the estate development, which includes a new coach park, multi-game enclosed pitch and playing field extension for Manningtree School.

There was also an extension to the village’s Owl’s Flight Dell conservation area, with hundreds of new trees, bushes and plants.

Steven Rose, director of Rose Builders, said: “We engaged with the local community back in 2011, to understand how new housing development could help in addressing unmet community needs, and how to resolve on-going issues and problems.

The way in which they all engaged with us was exemplary, and we would like to think that we fully took on board their requests and suggestions.”