A HISTORIC footpath forcibly reopened by Bradford Council was blocked again within two days.

Campaigners were shocked to discover a gate at the entrance to the Keighley path had been re-locked.

Council officers had this month removed locks, chains and signs that had previously stopped public access to the long-established Becks Road path.

The council has now threatened further legal action to ensure the latest lock was removed and people could again use the footpath linking the town centre with Fell Lane.

Coun Val Slater, the council’s chief of planning and highways, called on the person who blocked the path to “do the decent thing” and reopen it.

The footpath runs between Raglan Street, in the Fell Lane area, and Becks Road, which runs below Springfield Mills towards the bottom of Oakworth Road.

The path, described as an old Keighley route, had been blocked for several years, but in recent years had been the subject of demands for access.

Among those involved in campaigning were local driving instructor and keen historian Loraine Petyt, Keighley town councillor Peter Corkindale, and the Braithwaite And North Dean Action Group (BANDAG).

BANDAG member Barbara Archer had been delighted when the footpath reopened.

But when jubilant BANDAG members gathered for a photocall to celebrate the reopening of the path on Friday, they discovered the gate had been locked again.

Mrs Archer expressed “great disappointment” at the latest turn of events.

She said: “We were delighted that Bradford Council Rights of Way Department had taken action to reopen the footpath.

“Peter Corkindale was relentless in trying to get this path reopened and his persistence finally won through.”

Coun Corkindale, who took up the issue when he was Keighley Town Council’s planning chairman, said the path was registered and should be reopened.

He said that one reason put forward for the closure had been its proximity to a derelict chimney, but Bradford Council engineers had subsequently declared the building safe.

Coun Slater said it was very frustrating that this footpath had been blocked again, just two days after council officers re-opened it.

She said: “This is a designated right of way and it will be very disappointing if further legal action is required. I call on whoever has blocked this footpath to do the decent thing and reopen it."