Dovestone billing ‘causing almighty problem’, says concerned councillor

BILLING Dovestone Reservoir as a tourist hotspot is part of the reason why crowds are packing into it – and the associated parking chaos.

And Councillor Graham Sheldon believes Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham only exacerbated the issue on a recent visit.Warm weather sees thousands of people descend on the area, which has been mentioned as an area people living in Manchester can visit easily.

But that often means parking problems on nearby roads and in Greenfield village – to the point Oldham Council has painted double yellow lines along the main A635 road.

And Cllr Sheldon, who represents Saddleworth South on the borough authority as well as being a Saddleworth Parish Councillor, believes Mr Burnham did not help.

He said while showing Conservative mayoral candidate Laura Evans the area: “Andy Burnham and Sean Fielding came to this area a couple of months ago, along with Jamie Curley.

“Unfortunately John Hudson and myself, who are also borough councillors, weren’t invited to this meeting.

“But they came to the reservoir and those further up the valley and promoted it as a tourist area. It’s causing absolute mayhem in the village.

“My argument is before you promote any area as a tourist area, you must have all the facilities in place – toilets, car parks, litter bins etc.”

People living in Greenfield have experienced problems parking their cars when Dovestone Reservoir is packed with visitors.

And Cllr Sheldon said he had been told emergency service vehicles could not access the area properly, while also believing the litter policy at Dovestone is wrong.

He added: “RSPB and United Utilities have the idea that if you don’t put a dustbin anywhere, people will take their litter home.

“That doesn’t work. There’s litter all down the roads and the driveway.

“So we’re saying, ‘Get your act together before you start promoting areas. Get all the facilities in place.’

“I’ve also heard of instances where the bus, emergency vehicles couldn’t get past as cars were double parked in the village.

“It’s causing an almighty problem in Greenfield at this present time.”

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