‘It’s out of control’ – resident pleads for help with Dovestone “carnage”

A CONCERNED resident living on the doorstep of Dovestone has hit out at the “carnage” inflicted on a small Greenfield community by a minority of unruly visitors.

“It is out of control up here some weekends,” said the resident of Hey Top, known locally as Forty Row.

“We dread this time of year. You come home on a Friday and don’t go out until Monday.

“It is just too stressful to leave your property. There is nothing in place to deter people from coming to do what they do.

Forty Row

“When we do have a problem, no one takes any notice. As far as I am aware there is no direct link so anyone can check on our welfare.”

Vehicular access to Hey Top is along Bradbury Lane which is only reached by driving along Bank Lane and through the reservoir car park.

“The abuse we can get coming up through the car park is ridiculous,” added the resident. “These people don’t just challenge men, they challenge women with children in the cars.”

Visitors parking on Bradbury Lane’s double yellow lines or parking in Hey Top’s residents’ only car park can lead to confrontation.

“We are forever challenging people for parking in numbered bays. A neighbour reported the abuse to the police because one person turned round and said ‘I know where you live’. It is not acceptable.

“Then you get those who drive straight past the houses to the other end only to find it becomes just a track.

“But they drive down at such ridiculous speeds and there are elderly people and children who live here as well.

“These people look ever so confident driving down. But not so much when they get to the end and have to reverse all the way back.”

The resident, who didn’t wish to be named, is convinced the parking problems, exacerbated by motorists ignoring ‘no left turn’ signs off the Holmfirth Road, will lead to a fatality.

“Someone will die and that is not being dramatic. There will be a terrible car crash at that junction, there will be a massive fire or one of us has an emergency and the emergency services will not be able to get through.”

A recent, high profile but unannounced gathering of Dovestone stakeholders at the beauty spot, including Greater Manchester Police, Oldham Council, the RSPB, Greater Manchester Fire Service and United Utilities, was dismissed as “a publicity stunt”.

“The next day, when it was even hotter, there were no marshals on; it was just carnage.

“We understand it would be unreasonable to demand marshals are here all the time.

“But when they do let people in, or they are not here, there should be a facility where we can say ‘this is carnage’ we need someone on the gate to manage the traffic flow.

“Don’t forget, when the marshals go home, there are still people coming to Dovestone after tea, bringing barbecues and their disrespectful behaviour.”

• Could a Dispersal Order be part of the solution? Cheshire Police have adopted such an approach at Pickmere, a popular spot in easy reach of Greater Manchester.

The order provides police with extra powers to remove people where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress.

Inspector Andy Baker said: “These powers allow us to take stronger action in deterring anti-social behaviour and brings a form of reassurance to residents who live in the community.

“We are listening to resident’s concerns and working with partners to find a long-term solution.”

The Independent asked GMP to confirm if such an Order was being considered for Dovestone.

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