SADDLEWORTH villagers are bracing themselves for a winter of discontent with the announcement part of a key link road will close for seven months.

The £635,000 scheme will see the construction of a new surface water drain along the main A62 Oldham-Huddersfield Road at Delph to alleviate flooding misery for householders.

The work begins on Monday, September 16 and affects Gatehead Road and Lark Hill Lane. Oldham Council successfully applied to the Environment Agency for funding after a number of properties in the area flooded.

But, because the new drain is located in the centre of the highway, the council says a section of road will face a lengthy closure to ensure work is carried out safely.

Local diversions via Huddersfield Road, Delph New Road, Dobcross New Road, Standedge Road and Huddersfield Road will be clearly signed but motorists are asked to allow extra journey time, especially during peak periods.

Meanwhile, Transport for Greater Manchester and First Bus have both been consulted and letters have been sent to residents and businesses immediately affected by the building of the new drain.

The council says pedestrian and vehicle access to businesses and pedestrian access to residential properties will be maintained.

Cllr Ateeque Ur Rehman, Oldham Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “There is a history of flooding in this area, so we have identified it as a priority area for a flood risk management scheme.

“We know closing a main road is never ideal, but our highways engineers have undertaken detailed surveys, and this is the only way the work can be carried out.

“This drainage work is vital and once it is finished it will hopefully mean properties in this are no longer under the threat of flooding and people no longer face the threat of losing their belongings.”

But the diversions have raised concerns with the Dobcross Road Safety Group which has recently launched a two-prong campaign for a 20mph village-wide speed limit, which includes traffic on Dobcross and Delph New Roads, and resolve problems spanning an ancient bridge near Trinity CE primary school, Dobcross.

Jayne Gibson, aged 44, who lives on the road with her husband and two children, is spearheading the group’s concerted campaign.

She said: “With the diversions coming in the winter there is added concern about speeding, particularly near the school.

“We would urge everyone to reduce their speed,” she added.

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