Wigan subway gets cleaned up after great-gran trips over debris

The underpass was full of discarded wood and debris
The underpass was full of discarded wood and debris

A Wigan subway has been cleaned up after a pensioner tripped on a pile of debris and smashed her face on the floor.

Highways England has undertaken a clean-up operation in an underpass between Kitt Green and Orrell less than 24 hours after concerns were raised for safety.

Jean Metcalfe after her fall

Jean Metcalfe after her fall

Other news: Wigan pupils were excluded 180 times for attacking teachers last year

The call came after 79-year-old Jean Metcalfe tripped on a fence panel which had been ditched in the subway, receiving nasty bruising to her cheek and eye socket.

The great gran from Kitt Green was walking through subway, which goes from the back of St Peter’s Catholic High School, with her nine-year-old granddaughter.

Following the incident, her daughter Gillian Morris, contacted the Wigan Post to warn others about the “dangerous state” of the footpath.

“It should just be closed off,” she said. “All it seems to be used for now is anti-social behaviour. Young people are stealing fence panels and taking them down there, presumably to sit on.

“There has also been a lot of laughing gas canisters found down there.

“It isn’t safe and it looks like it hasn’t been maintained for a long time.”

Gillian initially complained to the council, but they have since disputed ownership, saying that it is in fact Highways England which is responsible for that stretch of the footpath.

After receiving reports on Monday, Highways England promptly sent out a team to clear up the debris and to clean the graffiti from the walls.

Wigan Council also sent its streets team to the area to clear the pathway.

Residents are now being urged to contact the council if they witness any anti-social behaviour in the area.

A spokesperson for Highways England said: “We’re concerned to hear that someone has been injured walking through the underpass and our thoughts are with anyone affected. We’re responsible for the structure of the underpass.

“We’ve sent a maintenance crew out today to inspect the underpass including the graffiti and drainage.

“While we’re there we’ll be doing a general tidy-up, including clearing the footpath of any obstructions.

“We have an inspection regime which covers motorway underpasses but debris and graffiti can accumulate at short notice and we’re grateful for having this matter brought to our attention.

“People can report any issues by calling our customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000 or by emailing us at info@highwaysengland.co.uk”