Canal path closed due to sudden landslide

Footway closed near Tesco Wigan after river wall collapse
Footway closed near Tesco Wigan after river wall collapse

PEDESTRIANS are being advised to avoid a popular walkway in Wigan after a large landslide struck overnight.

Part of the causeway along the River Douglas, near Tesco, in Central Park Way, has given way due to heavy rainfall, with large pavings and the railings found in the water.

As a result, Wigan Council has closed the path from the footbridge over the river near the junction of Central Park Way and Riverway for a period of 21 days.

Alternative routes are available from the footbridge, with a path continuing on the eastern side of the river.

A second footbridge 210 metres upstream also provides a safe crossing point.

Engineers from the Environment Agency are currently establishing who owns the wall on the western bank of the river and will carry out repairs as soon as possible.

But John Belshaw, a member of Friends of Douglas Valley, who regularly cleans up the area, said he noticed cracks in the pavement a year ago and warned the local authorities about it.

He said: “Twelve months ago I spoke to the council and Tesco as I had concerns about the cracks.

“The stonework was bulging slightly out but nothing was done.

“As the rain falls the river rises a bit and goes into the brickwork which deteriorates and has worn it away over the years.

“There’s a lot of foliage, which will also dislodge the brickwork.

“I could see the cracks getting more prominent.

“I also mentioned another section at the site of Great Acre which was cracking.

“Luckily the collapse happened at night and not when someone was walking along it.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “A 15 metre section of wall on the right bank of the River Douglas collapsed because of several days of very heavy rainfall.

“The Environment Agency is meeting with Tesco to confirm who owns the wall and to arrange for repairs to be carried out.

“The collapse of this section of wall does not pose any additional flood risk, but as a precaution we will continue to monitor the situation until the wall is repaired.”

A spokesman from Tesco added that bosses were looking into the matter.