999 fears over road potholes

Coun George Davies and Sam Murphy in Quaker Place
Coun George Davies and Sam Murphy in Quaker Place
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A FORMER hospital worker fears a “moonscape” Wigan road may be an obstacle to life-saving emergencies.

He has joined forces with a community activist to demand the council resurfaces a short but increasingly impassible section of highway in Standish and break a long standing legal log-jam.

Most of Quaker Place in Standish was adopted two decades ago.

However, there is a 30-yard-long section in the middle which remains a menace because it has proved impossible so far for town hall officers to find legal ownership.

Now Coun George Davies - who lives nearby - and Labour activist Sam Murphy want the local authority to take action on behalf of ambulance and fire crews who they fear may have an accident if they try to cross the problem area at speed on a blue light call.

Coun Davies, who recently retired as a Wigan Infirmary porter, says that ambulance paramedic drivers have complained to him about the condition of the road whenever calls have meant their vehicles having to cross it.

The pair acknowledge that the council have been put in a difficult legal position because the owner of the dispute section of road has yet been impossible to identify. But they say that “enough is enough” and action must be taken before the stretch is cited in delays getting to stricken patients.

Quaker Place is also a route used by droves of parents each morning taking children to Wood Fold Primary School in Green Lane prompting fears that they may now come to grief in the deep ruts and trenches.

Coun Davies said: “This is a very important safety plea. I know that our Standish councillors including George Fairhurst have met with residents and council officials, but we now need to find out who owns this part of the road, what there intentions if any are, and get something done about it for good.

“A Land Registry index map has been prepared and an official search has been made and states that it is unadopted.

“But my concern is now for safety reason and I think that should overrule these technicalities.

“Having been an NHS worker for as long as I have I have big concerns for ambulance crews who have to cross the area of potholes on an emergency call out. I am sure it can’t be much fun either for the council’s own dust bin wagons.

“We are calling on the council to view this as a health and safety risk and to act accordingly.”

Activist colleague Sam Murphy said: “If the owner can’t be found then the council should adopt this area of Quaker Place like the rest of Quaker Place because priority must be given to the safety of our Emergency Services.”

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Trust said that they hadn’t received any complaints from crews about the condition of Quaker Place or heard any suggestions it was a danger to their vehicles if they passed over at speed.

Wigan Council say that as the section of road in question isn’t adopted it “isn’t our responsibility.”

He added, however, that they have been working with Coun Davies on the matter for some time and are now exploring alternative sources of funding to tackle the unadopted section of the highway.