Strangled to death?

TWO BUSES were stranded for nearly two hours at night and police were called to sort out parking problems in a pretty Saddleworth village.

Ticket to ride: Dobcross Square
Ticket to ride: Dobcross Square

Locals pointed to inconsiderate parking in ancient Dobcross square as the reason for the gridlock which led to other vehicles diverting away from the village until the tangle was solved.

And OMBC Cllr Garth Harnkess, who was at the scene and witnessed the snarl-up  with other councillors, warned of an on-going saga of parking in Saddleworth’s tightly packed communities.

He said: “I can foresee issues. There are no easy solutions.  People have to park somewhere – but that in itself is the problem.”

The councillor, who lives in the village, said police were in attendance for about 90 minutes.  “This issue has been raised many times and does not help when trying to hold the bus company to task on keeping to their routes.

“I worked to get parking restrictions moved forward and I was told yellow lines would be in place – despite line painting happening elsewhere. The problem arises because there are no yellow lines.”

Parish councillor Royce Franklin, chair of Saddleworth and Lees Traffic sub-committee, said: “It would be much better if yellow lines were not necessary – but they are because of inconsiderate drivers.

“It is important bus routes are maintained in Dobcross and there have been occasions when buses have not been able to get through, hence the need for lines.

“The new lines are chiefly in the square but there was an incident recently when two vans parked directly opposite each other on Sugar Lane which caused disruption to the bus service.

“It is hoped residents and their visitors will be mindful of the need to preserve the bus route by parking appropriately.”

A First spokesman said: “Our buses faced problems in Dobcross due to people parking cars inconsiderately.

“It is a problem we face on a periodic basis in the area and we are working with police and the local authorities to try and rectify this issue.

“If the problems persist in the next few months then we may have to look at alternative routes through the area to ensure we can run a punctual bus service for all our customers who use these services.”

An OMBC spokesman said lining work, ordered several weeks ago, had been delayed due to bad weather.

“The contractor will mark out the lines at the earliest opportunity.  They have been advised the matter is urgent,” he added.

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