Drop this daft Donkey path blockade

Reporter: by Geoff Wood
Date published: 07 August 2008

A row has erupted over a blockage at the end of one of Saddleworth’s most popular footpaths.

Housing is planned on the site. But amid the housing slump no construction has gone ahead.

The old Delph Donkey footpath took walkers and cyclists on a enjoyable two-mile route past views and through glades following the route of the old Delph Donkey railway line.

Now, just before the footpath terminates at the site of the former Delph Station, a large fence has been erected together with a notice stating there is no right of way.

Walkers are directed instead down steep steps which lead on to Delph New Road.

Parish councillor Ken Hulme said: “There is outline planning permission to build houses at the end of the footpath. But no work has started.

“Now a sign has been also been put up to say there is no right of way.

“This is a very useful and attractive route for walkers and cyclists.

“Now they are directing people down steep steps.

“Anyone with mobility problems or small children will not be able to make it down the steps.

“The drop on to Delph New Road is quite dangerous. It is ridiculous that people are being diverted in this way.

“The route of the old path is still there and since there is no construction work, the route is not a danger to anyone. At Saddleworth Parish Council, Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Brian Lord said he was also concerned about the blockage of the path.

A spokesman for Oldham Council said: “The access at the end of the Delph Donkey line as it comes into Delph has been closed and passage into Delph will now be down a set of steps on to Delph New Road.

“If development goes ahead on the old station and goods yard site then bridleway access will be provided.”

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