A SIX-MONTH closure of a popular beauty spot footpath in Greenfield has been labelled “outrageous” by local councillors.
There will be a temporary closure of Footpath 267 – the length of the crest of Yeomen Hey Reservoir above Dovestone – from 16 October 2017 to April 2018.
The closure is being put in place while essential reservoir maintenance works are carried out to improve the strength and capability of the wave wall by increasing the height.
Alternative routes are: ‘Diversion A’ – Part of FP 267 / FP 272 and vice versa; and ‘Diversion B’ – Part of FP 267 and FP 272 including route around Yeomen Hey Reservoir.
However, the lengthy closure of the popular circular route has been criticised by Cllr John McCann (OMBC) and Saddleworth Parish Councillor Alan Belmore.
Cllr McCann said: “There is no alternative accessible route around this closed section of footpath.
“This closure is outrageous as it will affect thousands of people who walk round this popular and accessible circular footpath every week.”
Cllr Belmore added: “Oldham Council and their agents Unity Utilities need to think again about the length of closure and look closely at whether it is possible to allow walkers to traverse the Yeoman Hey Reservoir crest safely during these repair works.
“This circular footpath is the most well-used facility and attracts people from many miles away, as well as locals who enjoy walking there.”
A spokesperson for United Utilities confirmed: “We’re going to be building a new wave wall along the top of the embankment to bring the dam up to modern safety standards.
“It’s major construction work and there isn’t a lot of room along the top of the embankment so that’s why we need to close the footpath there to allow the work to be done safely.”
The dam was completed in 1880 and water from the reservoir is treated at Buckton Castle water treatment works before serving homes and businesses in Tameside.