Frustration over potholes delay

General view of Shevington parade of shops, Gathurst Lane, Shevington
General view of Shevington parade of shops, Gathurst Lane, Shevington

A COMMUNITY’S pleas to improve a road full of potholes has reached stalemate because no-one is sure who is responsible for the land.

Members of Shevington Parish Council say they have hit a brick wall over discussions to tarmac over the access road behind shops in Gathurst Lane.

This dispute has been going on since the 1980s - and was in a much better state then than it is now.

John Ball

The road, which is part owned by Wigan and Leigh Homes (WALH) and a private landowner, is covered in large potholes, making it virtually impassible.

Wigan and Leigh Homes has agreed to pay for work on its boundaries, but according to Shevington Parish Council, the other landowner is refusing to help on his land, passing responsibility to tenants.

John Ball, who is leading the campaign, said: “This dispute has been going on since the 1980s - and was in a much better state then than it is now.

“There are drains under the road and the pipes have broken and silted up, so they can’t take water.

“Land ownership from Highfield Avenue to Inward Drive was by a Mr Smith in London, but I can’t say if that is the case now.

“Wigan and Leigh Homes take the side from Highfield Avenue to the library and it will fund repairs, but the other landowner is adamant the tenants are responsible.

“But as far as I know, those tenants are not willing to contribute, so preventing any real works being carried out.

“We have reached stalemate. Until the other side come on board, nothing can be done. It’s very sad.”

A spokesman for Wigan Council said that it was responsible for enforcing the private landowner to maintain the land and would be working to negotiate.

He added that work to improve its own boundaries would start later this month.

Matt Roberts, director of asset management and development for Wigan and Leigh Homes, said: “Wigan and Leigh Homes has already agreed to carry out works to the part of the road it manages on behalf of Wigan Council.

“The area will be excavated and replaced with a more suitable surface.

“This work has been programmed to take place later this month.”

When the Observer spoke to shop tenants, they were unaware of the land ownership issues but stated that the access road was in a bad state and was causing problems.