Dobcross residents turned out in force with concerns over village ‘rat-run’

MORE THAN 120 Dobcross residents turned out in force to put forward their concerns about their village being turned into a ‘rat run’ by traffic.

They joined ward and parish councillors at the village band club meeting, which was organised by Dobcross Village Community and chaired by committee member journalist Ken Bennett.

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CONCERNED: Residents raised issues with the officers

Villagers say the narrow roads are already at breaking point with traffic and problems would increase due to the proposed building of a new secondary school in Diggle.

Proposed plans from Oldham Council include creating laybys along Wool Road to drop off students and a mini roundabout at the bottom of Sugar Lane.

But Cllr Mike Buckley, a resident of Dobcross, said: “I have concerns about the planned drop-off areas as it could encourage people to come down Sugar Lane to get there.

“I am concerned about the heritage and urbanisation of Dobcross and also the safety of commuters and pedestrians.

“There are narrow footpaths going down which are very dangerous, especially should there be more traffic.”

But Michele Carr, assistant executive director for special projects at OMBC, reassured the meeting the plans are still under consideration.

She said: “We held consultation meetings to speak to people about issues and we are looking at various options.

“If the school planning application is approved, there could be certain conditions around that in relation to the highways.

“Our intention was certainly not to make Dobcross a rat-run or a through road.”

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Paul Groves, Dave Hibbert and Michele Carr answered questions from the public

Paul Groves, principal engineer with builders Unity Partnership, added that alternative drop-off points are being considered, as well as traffic calming measures including a chicane system or rumble strips or a one-way system.

Other issues raised by residents included the speed limit along Wool Road, the impact of additional traffic on the roads, buses getting stuck frequently and pavements.

Marilyn McNeil, a DVC member, said: “The increase in traffic through Dobcross in the last ten years has been consideration and it will get worse.

“And we are quite unique in that we have no footpaths beyond the Square and you have to walk in the road.”

Another resident quipped: “One of the things I enjoy doing in the morning is watching the cars get stuck around the Square while I enjoy a cup of tea.”

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PACKED: Dobcross Band and Social Club

Dave Hibbert, OMBC cabinet member for housing, planning and transport, insisted the council will work with residents to find the best solutions.

He said: “I have got complete confidence in the officers working on this.

“No doubt the end product will be something not everyone is happy with but we will take as much as possible on board and work with you to get the best possible outcome.”

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, recently walked around the village pushing a pram with members of the DVC.

She said: “I went out with a buggy and must admit it was very difficult to get around. Heaven help anyone wheelchair-bound or unsteady on their feet.

“We love this historical village but want a 21st century lifestyle too with the conveniences of cars and we need to right balance.”

The DVC are now planning a regular liaison with the Oldham council officers to ensure villagers are kept up to date on any developments.


5 Replies to “Dobcross residents turned out in force with concerns over village ‘rat-run’”

  1. We also love our village, but not sure that is going to help us stop the Council building a school and ruining the outlook of our Village, and causing traffic chaos in Diggle, perish the thought that another Village should suffer, but hey ho it’s only Diggle and the Council did build us those 2 silly houses on OUR Village green!!!!!!!

  2. all this could be avoided if O M B C just admit they are wrong and build the school on its original site.

  3. If the children walked to school or got the school bus there wouldn’t be a problem – it’s parent’s who are the problem – pampering their kids. We live in Scouthead and mine either walk or get the bus – no need to drive them. The traffic is horrendous already it’s not going to get worse -it’s just going tomove along the road a bit. Just build the school! – LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME – WALK OR GET THE BUS – simple!

  4. The route through Dobcross has always been a “rat-run”, traffic goes at ridiculous speeds up Sugar Lane, through the village and never stops at the roundabout near Holy Trinity school. All routes through Dobcross are effected in the same way. It would be interesting to learn how many of the residents of Dobcross use “rat-runs” in other parts of Saddleworth and the surrounding area. I know of a few.

  5. I was born in saddleworth nearly 70 years ago ,actually I was born at shaw lee ,and over those 70 years saddleworth has changed unfortunately not for the good ,all Oldham council want is money money and more money, they have ruined all of saddleworth,s little villages if your born in saddleworth you find it hard to stay there as the price of houses is beyond the younger generation now. Why oh why have the council been allowed to do this. I’m from a large saddleworth family most of us born and bred in doggie ,I’m a Rhodes

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