A GROUP of determined protestors is inviting locals to join them in making a human fence to show their disapproval of a steel fence erected near the railway line through Uppermill.
Network Rail erected the 800-foot barrier along Den Lane, which is a conservation area, almost three months ago and recently revealed they plan to do the same along the entire TransPennine route in Saddleworth.
But the move has attracted much criticism from the local community and councillors who are upset by the “pointless and extremely ugly fence” and tree felling that occurred so it could be erected.
The protestors group, supported by councillors, has approached the rail operator to discuss moving the barrier closer to the train track, as well as alternative options.
Now, in protest against the fence, they are assembling on Den Lane, off Moorgate Street in Uppermill, at 1.50pm on Sunday, August 12 for 15 minutes to make a human fence, and all are welcome to join them.
The group said: “It’s almost three months since Network Rail started destroying the conservation area of Den Lane to put up a galvanised steel fence more suited to an industrial site that nobody wanted and serves no safety purpose whatsoever. And have done nothing in all that time to put it right.
“Network Rail chopped down dozens of mature trees, a place where foxes and a pair of jays live and lots of other wildlife. Some people are concerned that Network Rail have disturbed bats which are a protected species.
“Plus Network Rail ignored local residents, local council leaders and dozens of letters to stop the work and talk to us to do the job properly and in keeping.
“Anyone who is concerned about the way Network Rail operate, concerned about wildlife and conservation, or worried Network Rail are going to do this right through the area should come down and show their disapproval by making a human fence.
“Please if you can dress as a bat – black bin bag, improvised bat-ear hat!”
Network Rail said the fencing needs to be installed for safety, to reduce the risk of people trespassing on the tracks and protecting members of the public, drivers and those travelling on trains.
A spokesman for Network Rail added: “At our meeting with residents in Uppermill, we were asked by the community to consider a number of options for the area.
“We reviewed all of them and sent our views back to the Friends of Saddleworth representative and are currently awaiting feedback on which option they would like to explore.”