ARBROATH has lost out big style because of the closure of the clifftop path, a local businessman believes.
Lovat Clement who, for the past eight years has supplied ice-cream, teas and coffees from a mobile van parked adjacent to the access to the cliff path will be delighted when the path is finally restored.
And according to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, he might not have too long to wait.
The Trust, owners of the land on which the Arbroath clifftop path is sited, hope that the path will re-open shortly after having been closed for more than a year.
A spokesman, Greg Tinker, stated: “In the spring of 2011 the clifftop path at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Seaton Cliffs reserve suffered a collapse due to coastal erosion.
“As public safety was, and still is, the Trust’s main priority, the footpath was closed.
“The Trust immediately began looking into the purchase of additional land from a local landowner in order to re-route the path.
“It is hoped that this purchase will be completed shortly and work will begin on the new path section as soon as is possible.”
Mr Tinker revealed that other sections of the path have suffered subsequent collapses and re-routing options are currently being explored by the Trust and Angus Council.
He stated: “Signs and barriers remain in place to protect members of the public. These are checked every week, either by the Scottish Wildlife Trust Ranger or the Angus Council Ranger. If ever they are found to be missing they are replaced.
“The small minority of people who vandalise or remove signs at Seaton Cliffs should realise they are making it seriously dangerous for other visitors.”
Mr Clement said that his business was down by 40 per cent last year, directly due to the cliff walk being closed.
He went on: “It has deteriorated further this year. I believe that general tourists are reducing at the rate of about five per cent a year but up until last year, the number of walkers had made up the shortfall.
“At one time there were between 20 and 40 cars arriving weekly full of walkers to take the cliff path. Now there are none.
“During the summer, there was on average about one bus every fortnight full of walkers. They were let off either at Lunan Bay, Auchmithie and walked the coastal path to Arbroath harbour where they were picked up again. People also arrived in the town by train and bus to take the clifftop walk, but now there are none. Arbroath has lost a lot of income.”
An Angus Council spokesperson stated: “The coastal path is still closed at Seaton Cliffs. The landowner, Scottish Wildlife Trust, is in the process of purchasing land from the neighbouring farm, which will enable the path to be rerouted onto a safer line and reopened. It is hoped that the land purchase will be concluded soon.
“The path is referred to under Paths For All Networks and Coastal Path entries on the A-Z of Angus Council website. It is also listed in the core paths plan page. There is an advisory message regarding the path closure on each of these web pages.”