Cyclists and walkers in Chippenham are disappointed by the closure this week of the popular cycle path leading to Lacock.

Walkers, runners and cyclists using the North Wiltshire Rivers Route over the past week have been faced with a notice near Naish Hill stating the path would close on Tuesday.

Derek Weaving, of Monkton Park, has been using the path with a group of friends for around six years and was upset to discover their trips will have to end.

The 74-year-old said: “It is going to cause quite a bit of difficulty for some people and disappointment for others, including me.

“I have always been a keen cyclist, but now I will not be able to cycle to Lacock any more.

“There is a group of us who go cycling to Lacock about twice a month and we have been using the path since it opened about six years ago.

“There are about five of us, all elderly gentlemen, and we cycle along there to a pub for a pie and a pint.

“When we found out it was going to close we met up for one last cycle to say goodbye.

“I was shocked and quite angry when I read the sign, but it does not seem as if there is much I can do about it.”

The section of the path from Chippenham to Lacock is part of the longer Reading to Bath Sustrans route and Mr Weaving fears the whole route will have to be shut.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said that part of the path had to be closed because the lease expired. She said: “"The lease had already been extended on a temporary basis and that had run out.

"It could not be extended again so we are looking at alternative routes.

"We are in talks with landowners to see if we can use any land to re-open the path."