UPPERMILL’S ducks can nest a little easier now after becoming the subject of two new road safety signs.
Pictures of the village’s feathered friends crossing busy New Street and Church Road are often posted on the world wide web.
Some concerned locals, fearing for the safety of the mallards, moorhens and Emden geese from speeding motorists, erected home-made warning signs.
Now, thanks to the generosity of three Oldham Borough Councillors, working with Uppermill Community Association, the ducks have been afforded more permanent protection.
And while the politicians’ benevolence may be viewed in some quarters as animal quackers, there is a serious message to their gesture.
“We are delighted to see the signs are finally in place,” said Cllr Adrian Alexander, Labour member for Saddleworth West and Lees Ward.
“It has been a long process but it meant a lot to the local community,” he added.
“Yes, we don’t want any harm coming to the ducks. But there is a road safety element to it as well.
“Hopefully, motorists seeing the signs will slow down in a busy, popular area and that will be beneficial also to pedestrians and other road users.”
Cllr Alexander has been joined in the venture by Labour colleagues, Cllrs Nikki Kirkham (Saddleworth North) and Steve Hewitt (Saddleworth West and Lees).
They ruffled a few feathers by picking up the whole bill for the project from their Council allowances when Uppermill’s Saddleworth South members, Cllrs Graham Sheldon, John Hudson and John McCann declined.
“This has been going on for 18 months and simply would not have happened without these three kindly stepping up and getting involved,” said Nick Watts, chair of Uppermill Community Association.
“Although the new signs may have been communicated via other councillors, these three actually funded it. From the UCA, we owe them a debt of gratitude.”