New measures brought in at Dovestone reservoir to deter irresponsible visitors

POLICE, water, and council chiefs are stepping up measures this weekend (16 – 17 Jan) to reduce the number of day-trippers flouting Covid guidance at Dovestone reservoir.

Oldham Council will be on site to enforce parking regulations and the police will also have a presence throughout the weekend to help make sure visitors are following the Government’s advice on coronavirus.

Meanwhile United Utilities is installing temporary electronic signs which will indicate when the car park is full, helping prospective visitors avoid the area before they cause a traffic jam. Initially the signs will be placed on the roundabout at the junction of Holmfirth Road (A635) and Chew Valley Road, however they can be moved to alternative locations if the impact could be improved.

It is hoped that the measures will emphasise the message that the site can only be used by local people who are taking their daily exercise. It is against current Government guidance to travel outside your local area or meet friends and family for a day out, but there are large numbers of visitors who are continuing to do just that.

Ross Evans, Estates and Land Manager at United Utilities, said: “As a partnership we have been doing our best to manage the Dove Stone site but the job is made incredibly difficult by members of the public who refuse to follow the rules.

“We have seen dangerous parking, people congregating in large groups and anti-social behaviour which is not fair on the people who live here or our employees who work here.

“The message is simple – if you drive past other parks or green spaces to get here you are travelling too far.”

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council said: “Some of the visitors to Dove Stone need to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

“It’s easy to blame the authorities for a perceived lack of action, but this simply isn’t true. The members of the partnership are doing their best in very difficult circumstances and we only have limited resources which are already being stretched.

“If you live in Oldham try one of our many parks or green spaces near you rather than getting in your car and possibly having to wait ages for a spot on the car park. If you do take a chance and park illegally then you risk a fine.

“If you do visit Dovestone then please remember Hands, Face, Space and let’s protect ourselves, our families and the NHS.”

Superintendent Andrew Sidebotham, leading GMP’s response to Covid-19, said: “Officers continue to police using the four Es approach and will patrol hotspot areas where the public report large or repeated breaches of regulations.

“I would urge the public to think before travelling and ask those who can to stay local if possible.

“Certain places of beauty and areas can get extremely busy, making social distancing difficult and a high number of people in on area increases the rate at which the virus can spread.

“Protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS by staying at home if possible.”

The Dovestone partnership will continue to keep the situation at the site under review.

3 Replies to “New measures brought in at Dovestone reservoir to deter irresponsible visitors”

  1. Typical of the useless Councillors leaving things to get to out of hand “Closing the Gate after the Horses have Bolted” as the saying goes!

  2. More nonsense from Oldham Council and United Utilities. For the last 10 months the whole area has been blighted by dangerous parking, people ignoring government advice on social distancing. The little action taken has been inadequate and changed nothing. It is their responsibility to resolve this issue, and GMP certainly does require “special measures “. One can only assume all parties involved are not truly interested.

  3. Sean fielding talks about easy to blame for perceived lack of action and they are working hard, however, I have not seen any covid risk assessment regarding Dovestones and possible impact on the local community, not have I seen Ombc et al proactively show the local community what they are doing to address these concerns. Sean Fielding’s defensiveness comes because I have challenged him , our MP and also the Mayor and UU re their lack of action…of which our MP shared the plan for the summer issues, with no apparent consideration for lockdown, covid impact on our community with the mayor doing his usual passing the buck to his deputy who in turned passed the buck to GMP where it landed on the desk of a local inspector for our area whose really needs support, extra resources and clear law and guidance of what he cannot cannot do e.g the inspector shared that face coverings is not law it’s guidance, socially distancing is not law it’s guidance therefore he has no legal powers to enforce this

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