The closure of a popular Rickmansworth footpath is making pensioners "suffer" as they are having to walk long, gruelling distances to avoid the obstruction.

The path between The Drive and Chorleywood Road has been shut since early July and residents are angry that they have been left in the dark as to how long it will remain closed.

By restricting access to the path, one concerned Spencer Walk resident, John Pink, said he has to walk long distances to get to Chorleywood Road in order to catch his bus to the hospital.

The 74-year-old said: "We think it has been closed for about five or six weeks, which is crazy. We have no idea why it has closed. 

"They told us it was going to reopen on August 1 but it didn’t. We have seen absolutely no work whatsoever being done. It’s important to me. I suffer from arthritis and have walking difficulties."

Mr Pink said the important footpath links The Drive to bus stops on Chorleywood Road without residents having to descend the steep slope of Valley Road or The Drive.

It is also considered to be a popular path for those heading to Rickmansworth Station and the town centre. 

While the path is shut, many residents have to make the gruelling journey up steep Valley Road. 

Mr Pink, who used to work in the electronic manufacturing industry, added: "To have to walk on Valley Road is just a killer and it's making us suffer. 

"A neighbour of mine told me he has some heart problems and doing that extra, tough walk just makes his heart pound. It’s a total inconvenience.

"There’s no work going on.  I just want to get this pathway open, at least until they do some work. Close it for a week or two but after that it’s an important footpath."

The work is being carried out by Ringway on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.

Jerry Pert, Ringway regional director working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said: "The footpath between Chorleywood Road and The Drive was closed after serious trip hazards were identified during an inspection after its classification was changed from a right of way to a highways footpath. 

"These hazards were not suitable for repair by temporary works, so the site was allocated for significant repairs requiring a design team to plan the best solution. 

"Unfortunately, the design and repair process has taken longer than anticipated, however it is hoped that the footpath will be reopened early next week. Ringway apologise for the disruption on this footpath and the delays in rectifying the defects."