FAR-reaching options which could dramatically change the management of visitors to a controversial Saddleworth beauty spot will be discussed at a high-level virtual summit today.

Hosted by Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, agencies and partners will explore how to tackle issues at Dovestone Reservoir, Greenfield.

A massive increase in visitor numbers to the picturesque site has left existing car parks unable to meet demand with heavy congestion on access roads and residents unable to get to their homes.

There has also been difficulty for emergency service vehicles getting to the site with roadside parking on the A635 Greenfield-Holmfirth causing problems.

A team of car parking marshals remain weekend duty at the site until Christmas.

Locallly, the site, owned by United Utilities and leased to wildlife charity the RSPB, has been a hotbed of mounting frustration and anger but access to the land is freely allowed under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act which prevents partners limiting visitor numbers.

Last weekend, wardens issued 101 notices for motoring offences including 66 committed on the A635 and 17 on nearby Hollins Lane. Pay and display income netted Oldham Council £18,386 in August and £19,158 in September.

The summit will examine electronic/highway signage on approaches to the site with a "car park full" type of signage to divert visitors.

There will be a review and consultation on the current level of car parking charges to reflect patterns of visitor use and the costs associated with managing the site with a possible car park season ticket for local residents.

The meeting will investigate the installation of CCTV, to monitor car parking usage and anti-social/illegal behaviour and try to promote education through signage/interpretation boards, to include The Countryside Code, PSPO, no left turn on A635 awareness and review all signage to assess effectiveness and avoid "sign blindness".

And, as part of parking restrictions and enforcement, the options for increased police patrols and tow zones in and around Greenfield village will be explored.

In the log term, an option of a “park and ride" plan will be discussed with support for volunteer groups.