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Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

DISCLAIMER:

All information provided on Saddleworth News web-site is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between Saddleworth News and any person or entity unless otherwise specified nor reflect the paper’s views.

The author of this letter has asked for it to be posted anonymously.

 

Having reviewed the revised proposal:

1. I believe the impact of traffic and pupil safety around the Huddersfield Road area of Diggle have been understated. I appreciate that road widening, pavement work and a parental drop off area have been included in the plan; however, the assessment of the increased in traffic flow being sdummarised as ‘negligible’ due to the peak occurring only once (or, arguably, twice) per day is an absolute nonsense. If the school is built on this site and much more significant road improvement measures are not taken (which, given the nature of the surrounds, is unlikely to be feasible), I am confident that this area will become a nightmarish bottleneck – irate parents, buses carrying children that cannot get to where they want to be, frustrated local residents trying to get to their places of work, etc.

2. I do not share the confidence of those that contributed to the flood report that the site will be sufficiently safe from a ‘1 in 100’ year event (with 20% climate change margin). Severe flooding is becoming an increasingly frequent and serious issue in Saddleworth, across the UK and, indeed the world at large. We are seeing the effects of climate change escalate at an increasing pace, which is largely down to the already ‘baked-in’ impact of our having abused this planet for an extended period. Given the position of the site at the bottom of a valley, I predict that severe flooding will become a frequent issue within a short space of time and, if the school is built there, there will be costly repercussions both in the damage to the buildings and peripherals and also lost education days for the pupils of Saddleworth.

I, like most Saddleworth residents, I believe, would be delighted to welcome a new school for the children of the area. There have been many delays in getting to this point and I sympathise with the frustration felt by the pupils, parents and school staff affected. However, choosing a bad option in an attempt to get a school built is not, in my view, preferable to taking the requisite time to explore better options and listen to the opinion of the local people affected. It has always been, and remains, my opinion that the selection of this site has been railroaded within due consideration of the alternatives such as reusing the existing Uppermill site or fully investigating potential sites around Greenfield.

Saddleworth resident and father of two school-age children

4 comments to Letter to Editor

  • Anon

    And the current Uppermill site doesn’t cause a bottleneck?! NIMBY.

  • Katy Boulton

    The problems mentioned in this letter – traffic, pupil safety, flooding etc – all affect the current site in Uppermill. There’s an opportunity to solve/improve many of the problems with the new school in Diggle. Enough of the delay, let’s get it built!

  • Mike in Diggle

    It flooded December 2015 and probably will again this year

  • Duncan Anderson

    Traffic and safety issues are not well addressed in the plans for the Diggle site.

    1) You do not solve Uppermill’s problems by moving them a mile up the road to Diggle and making them even even worse.
    The Diggle site will mean hundreds of students walking an extra mile in all weathers.
    Therefor there will be many more School Buses – costing an estimated additional £200kpa.
    There will also be a dramatic increase in the number of cars dropping-off and picking-up.
    Dropping-off involves stopping for students to alight, then driving off.
    Picking-up involves parking and waiting for students who do not leave school at the same time. There will be more cars and less waiting space.

    2) Diggle is effectively a cul-de-sac. Cars entering from Wool Road must turn around and exit by the same narrow (single-track) road. Exiting the proposed Turnaround Parking area into on-coming traffic will require newly acquired manners to “give way”. Tail-backs will be created. Traffic Simulation Software used by Oldham Council has been shown to be “not fit for purpose”.( See Cllr.Rob Knott’s assessment/comments Feb.,2016 re “random variables)

    3) The existing Huddersfield Road is planned to be made narrower – to a single track with alternating traffic lights. This is to allow a new footpath along the lhs and a wider footpath along the rhs, from Wool Road to beyond the new Turnaround/Parking area.
    There will be no new cycle lanes and no parking for cycles at the new Diggle site.
    The plan is to “encourage more students to walk to school”.

    4) There is no visible plan for Emergency Vehicle access and exit via the new narrowed Huddersfield Road. Priority switches on Traffic Lights do not allow an incoming Fire Engine to give-way to an exiting Ambulance (with injured victims) where they cannot pass.
    There is a Primary School and a Day Nursery in Diggle in addition to two Railway and one Canal Tunnels approx. one mile beyond the Traffic Lights.

    5)All the above could be avoided by demolishing all the houses on the rhs of Huddersfield Rd. and building a new fit-for-purpose road. This could be financed by increasing the “Land Swap” fee currently offered by the Developers from £2million to £10million and offering the present Owners new houses on the Uppermill School Site.

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