Published On: Mon, Apr 18th, 2022

Row as tourism ‘ruins’ Worsley Greater Manchester near Salford | UK | News


Worsley, which is in Greater Manchester, is popular with tourists for its beautiful scenery and landmarks. Visitors have flocked to the village this weekend – the first UK bank holiday without any Covid restrictions since the pandemic – but locals have slammed the traffic, parking issues, safety concerns and other problems said to be caused by the industry.

Steve Birch, 63, has lived in Worsley his entire life and has seen significant change over the decades, including the construction of the M60 which cuts through the area.

He said: “It’s changed dramatically over the years.

“You can’t move without sitting in traffic. But it’s got good places, nice walks, nice people and a lot of history and nice properties.

“It’s just because it’s a popular area, you get a lot of people visiting the village because of the canal and walks. I suppose it brings a little bit of income to the small shops and cafes. But parking is difficult and it’s adding traffic.”

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, resident Julie Miller is worried drivers are posing a risk to young families who live in the village.

She said: “I’m just a bit concerned the fact that lots of people do a rat run in the green if the road is busy. They rat run at high speeds and when you’ve got babies and dogs on the green it’s a bit of a worry.

“I don’t think they have any respect for the people who live here. You’re used to it being quiet. Since lockdown, everyone comes. Everybody should share; it’s a nice place. That isn’t a problem.

“But I’ve noticed it since lockdown and people park in front of houses. I’m not being precious; it’s not as beautiful as it used to be.”

Jaqui Pollock recently moved to Worsley from Eccles, Greater Manchester, but says traffic is “probably the most annoying thing”.

She said: “A couple of nights ago something must have happened on the motorway, maybe roadworks and a junction was closed. 

“About 30 to 40 lorries came past the house in an hour.

“But the rest is lovely, it’s easier to be healthier here and it’s easy to enjoy being outdoors. You have less excuses to go outside.”

Tourists often visit Worsley’s mock-Tudor houses, its 48 listed buildings and designated conservation areas. RHS Bridgewater, a revived garden site dating to the reign of Queen Victoria, with surviving period details, is also popular with tourists.

One woman, who lives near the garden, said: “What has changed is beyond what I can see – it’s got busier and we have the RHS now.

“It’s busier because of tourists and people use this as a rat run and use it at quite a speed so it’s worrying.

“I don’t particularly think it’s safe. There’s a problem with people parking on the green too. I appreciate people will take an opportunity when they see it, but it’s not always the best for residents.

“The reason it’s so lovely is because it’s so unspoiled. If it starts becoming spoiled, it becomes a problem and won’t be beautiful anymore.”

Barry Silvert, 77, described traffic in his area as “appalling” – fearing the chaos may cause a serious accident one day.

“It’s a lovely place to live as you can see,” he said.

“The traffic is appalling – early morning rush hour time is mayhem down this road. The roundabout is a living disaster. There’s going to be a serious accident at the traffic lights one day.

“The amenities are good; we have eating places and lots of walking places. This isn’t meant to be a public road and it’s used as such. In the morning it’s used as a rat run.

“When people want to use the green, they park their cars here and we’re not very happy about that. The food vendors attract a lot of people.

“It’s beautiful. We were very lucky to get it because I don’t think houses come up for sale here very often. We were thrilled.”

Rachel Jones, who has lived in the area for 12 years, has noticed tourists return to Worsley in recent weeks.

But the 57-year-old woman welcomes visitors, believing they boost the local economy.

She said: “It’s just lovely living round here.

“You feel like you’re on holiday. There’s the greenery, the walks up the canals and woods and there’s a real sense of community.

“You can’t complain about travel links; it’s so quick to motorway and airports and into Manchester. It’s ideal. RHS Bridgewater is a real bonus and it’s really attracted people. We love it.

“During lockdown, it was a place where everyone came and a lot more people discovered it. I think it’s become more touristy but that’s a nice thing – it’s for everyone to enjoy.”

 

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