The reaction to the enhancement work on Highgate at Kendal over the last few weeks has been, unsurprisingly, hostile.

I have no axe to grind regarding the work itself, but it appears to me the existing concrete sets and flags were fine, and there was no need to replace them.

To me the expense was totally unjustified and is unlikely to generate the extra income required for the businesses in that area, or Kendal as a whole, to make it worthwhile.

However, I do whole-heartedly agree with the policy of enhancing and upgrading footways where they are used and needed for travel into and around town.

And this is where I am mystified by the unwillin-gness - or perhaps the inability - of our local councils to spend such time and money on the town's many peripheral footpaths.

Specifically I cite the one which enables me and other people living in the Castle Estate, Heron Hill and Sedbergh Road areas to walk around the Castle into town. That was improved many years ago with a limestone dust surface, but since then it appears to have been totally neglected and sometimes it becomes impassable due to floodwater, leaf mould and mud.

Others, such as the one along the old canal, are also poorly maintained and neglected.

I believe these footpaths are vital to the reduction of vehicle numbers in town and the amount of parking space needed for workers and visitors alike.

Many people, I believe, would walk or cycle to work and the shops if they knew they could do so without having to don walking boots or Wellingtons.

Surfaces need to be strengthened, drainage improved and, most importantly of all, they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.

And to make things even better, especially now as the nights lengthen, I would suggest good lighting should be installed where it doesn't already exist.

Had we diverted the money spent on the Highgate enhancements and the new parking machines into these footpaths we could have made a difference to our environment. But, alas, once more, it's too late.

David C. Smith, Kendal