Horse rider raises fears over deathtrap bridge

A picture of the drop taken from below
A picture of the drop taken from below

A WIGAN horse rider is calling for a dangerous bridge to be blocked off after she nearly plummeted to her death.

Elizabeth Rowe was riding her horse Grace along the former railway line between Golborne and Haydock on Ashton Heath when a walker stopped her going any further as there was a huge drop of several feet.

Horse rider Elizabeth Rowe with her horse Grace

Horse rider Elizabeth Rowe with her horse Grace

But there were no warning signs or a barrier and the Bryn 53-year-old is calling for safety measures to be put in place to prevent an accident.

She said: “I was moving my horses from Lowton to Ashton but there was a barrier by the side of Haydock’s racecourse, so I had to go another way, which I had never been before.

“I was riding Grace and heading towards the bridge.

“There was a massive drop at one side and she slipped a bit, but luckily I carried on and got back on track but I had to get off Grace and lead her away.

“I would have carried on, but luckily a walker who lives in the area appeared from nowhere and stopped me as there was a really big drop.

“If I had gone any further, I could have died.

“He was my guardian angel and took me another way to avoid the bridge.

“It really is dangerous and the path is so tiny. It is not wide enough to walk along.

“There should be warning signs or a fence. It is very accessible to members of the public, especially children,”

Edward Forsyth, who was the man who stopped Elizabeth from going any further, said: “This route is a well trodden footpath and heavily used by Golborne’s school children en-route to schools in Ashton.

“The bridge has been in this dilapidated condition for decades.

“I have reported this incident to our local councillor, Jenny Bullen, who has advised me that she has forwarded details to the local council.

“But to date, nothing has been done.”

The pathway runs on the route of a former railway line between Golborne and Haydock and was sold by British Rail to a private company some years ago.

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council, said: “The dangerous state of this former railway bridge has been raised with us by an elected council member.

“The bridge and the path leading to and from the bridge are owned by a private company and we have contacted them to urge them to make the area secure and safe.

“Unfortunately, they have not yet acted on our request and we are now seeking legal advice to clarify what powers we have to make the bridge safe.

“In the meantime we would advise members of the public to avoid using this area.”