OFF-ROAD vehicles have left a Springhead lane so churned up that even farmers cannot use it.
The ancient highway of Wood Brook Lane, which connects the area with Lydgate, has become a haven for drivers looking to go off the beaten track.
Trouble is, that track is now so beaten, those living off the land around it cannot use it.
When the Saddleworth Independent visited the area, one farmer told us how he cannot operate his tractor along it as it has been battered so much.
And at one end, towards the Spinners Arms pub, homeowners are faced with mud being kicked off vehicles and onto theirs.
A number of videos have appeared on YouTube showing vehicles traversing Wood Brook Lane, which starts off as a hard-surfaced road at its junction with Platting Lane.
It quickly ends but as it is an ancient highway, cars are allowed to drive along it, even through the brook that runs across it.
But Winter weather, coupled with an explosion of people off-roading, has left the mud virtually knee deep and almost impossible to get through.
Now Saddleworth Parish councillors are looking to stop the steady stream of vehicles making lanes if what was once a scenic green hill and is now a quagmire.
Councillor Luke Lancaster echoed the concerns and complaints of residents in terms of damage to the lane’s surface and safety of walkers who use the Lane itself and the footpaths that cross it in letters to Oldham Council.
He said: “Like so many I enjoy walking my dog Oscar around Wood Brook so it is a shame that Oldham Council is not willing to listen and take action against dangerous drivers, who jeopardise our safety.
“Hopefully it won’t take for somebody to be seriously injured before they do anything about it!”
Because it is an ancient highway and despite the councillors’ best efforts, an Officer at Oldham Council has confirmed: “It is not possible to separate out a certain type of vehicle when they have a legal right to be there.
“The many conflicts of various stakeholders sometimes cannot be resolved easily or indeed at all by a Highway Authority.”
However, they have had some success; Oldham Council are now maintaining the surface of Wood Brook Lane.
Fellow parish councillor Max Woodvine added: “These hamlets are a hidden gem and walkers from surrounding villages, whether it’s Springhead at the bottom or Lydgate at the top, should be able to enjoy them safely without fear of silly SUVs etc speeding around.
“Walkers are always welcome at Wood Brook!”