REGARDING your report about the closure of the 'death trap' footpath across the A56 dual carriageway at Haslingden, when this road was built, many other rights of way were cut through -- about 17 in total, from its junction with the A682 south of Haslingden, to where it passes below the M65 motorway.

Most of these paths are still theoretically available to the public, but are as hazardous to use as the ones mentioned in your article.

When a new motorway is built, if a right of way is crossed, the Highways Agency is compelled to provide either a footbridge or an underpass. This does not apply to dual carriageway roads, although they are virtually indistinguishable from motorways by most drivers, who are usually very surprised and frequently angry, when encountering pedestrians crossing their particular section of road.

We are naturally very relieved that this particular hazard is going to be dealt with shortly, but what about the other paths which have been cut through? It would be unreasonable to expect either footbridges or underpasses to be provided for each of them, but several diversions could be worked out to concentrate a few together and one or two other crossings constructed.

It is unreasonable for the Highways Authority to argue that since only 31 people a day used the path, they were not prepared to build a footbridge. The annual total of more than 11,000 pedestrians walking this path clearly demonstrates that it was well used. If a safe crossing is not provided, the right of way is being effectively closed.

Furthermore, it must surely be much more economical to build either a footbridge or an underpass during road construction.

The Ramblers Association ran a campaign a few years ago, 'You're either quick or dead,' to draw attention to this unsatisfactory situation. I was invited by local radio to visit the A56 with their reporter and demonstrate the problem by attempting to cross the road. It took us nearly five minutes to do this and the reporter was white-faced and badly shaken when she finally made it back to her car.

Senior members of Lancashire County Council have assured me that they will not allow a similar situation to that existing on the A56 to be created on any new road which may be built in future, within the county. We must hold them to their pledge.

FRANK PARROTT, (Footpath Secretary, North East Lancashire Area Ramblers Association), Green Drive, Clitheroe.