Travellers set up site near Wigan park

Travellers arrived at the park on Wednesday
Travellers arrived at the park on Wednesday

Travellers have caused uproar after making a public park their latest home in the borough.

A travelling community has been set up at the park on Golborne Road, Ashton, since Wednesday afternoon.

Up to 15 caravans and more vehicles were reported to have broken a lock on the park gates to gain entry to the site, which includes a children’s play area.

The park is in the Stubshaw Cross area and sits almost opposite St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School. It is a popular spot for children to play after home time.

One resident, whose child attends the school, expressed concern over the occupation of the park.

He said: “At about 3.20pm they turned up and broke the lock to the entrance. There’s about 50 of them. There were kids on the field who had just come out of school.

“There were children playing on the field and they were driving on in their vans, not even interested in the children.

“There’s rubbish strewn about and cars everywhere. My concern is when kids are coming out of school at 3pm. There are vans everywhere, driving on and off and crossing the pavement.”

He added: “I’ve been living around here for 20 years and I’ve never seen travellers on there at all.”

He also claimed that the travellers had threatened an ice cream van driver who was blocking the park entrance at the time they arrived.

Another resident said: “They broke onto the park and had to drive past the swings and roundabouts. It’s a bit dangerous, they need moving on.”

He added: “They are backing onto an estate which is full of vulnerable old people. My mum and dad live there, plus my mother-in-law, they are in their 80s.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they received a large number of calls regarding the issue.

It has also been reported to Wigan Council’s travellers sites department and bailiffs served an initial notice of eviction at the park yesterday.

Paul Barton, director for environmental services at Wigan Council, said: “We are responding to reports made about travellers in Stubshaw Cross and are working with partners to begin the eviction process.”