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The “nightmare” Greater Manchester road where two people tragically lost their lives

Stamford Road.

A 20mph zone will be introduced on a “lethal” road in Oldham following the tragic deaths of two cyclists.

Stamford Road in Lees is due to receive a new speed limit and a number of traffic calming measures to reduce the risk of further accidents.

The major thoroughfare, which connects two main roads between Saddleworth and Oldham Town Centre, has long been described as “scary” and a “nightmare junction” by members of the community because of frequent speeding and dangerous driving. 

Local councillor Mark Kenyon, who helped campaign for the new safety measures, said: “Since two recent deaths at the junction with Huddersfield Road, we’ve been trying to get something done. We’ve managed to address the speed across the whole road, which is a real result for the people of Grotton, Springhead and Lees.” 

The road first became the scene of a tragedy in 2020, when the death of 64-year-old cyclist Philip John Horsfall as a result of a collision with a van shook local residents. 

Only a year later, 43-year-old mother Louise Harrott was struck by a Range Rover, suffering fatal injuries and leaving behind a 17-year-old son and a devastated mother. The driver, Patricia Golden, was later found guilty of careless driving. 

Kenyon said: “What’s really upsetting is that those two deaths were utterly preventable. People always say it’s an accident waiting to happen – this is why it’s so important to act now. Two deaths are two too many. 

“Hopefully doing this now will prevent further tragedy in the future.” 

The traffic calming measures were possible after Transport for Greater Manchester released funding to investigate the site. 

The new road rules, approved at a Traffic Regulation Order Panel on March 14, will introduce an upper limit of 20mph along the whole road. Right-hand turns from Dunham St onto Huddersfield Rd and from Huddersfield Rd onto Dunham St will be banned, forcing all traffic to use the main junction from Stamford Rd onto Huddersfield Rd. 

The scheme will also see the bus stop relocated to further down the road and waiting restrictions introduced to improve visibility at the junction.

Not everyone supported the new safety measures, with some arguing the new rules would create “serious” backlogs of traffic and others objecting to new parking and waiting restrictions which would cause trouble for residents on the road. One objector, who described themselves as “someone with limited walking ability” wrote that they were worried it would become “impossible” to park near their home with the new restrictions in place. 

They said “I daren’t go out in the evening in case I can’t park near home when I get back,” and claimed the new rules would see “a battle for the few spaces” remaining. 

Councillor Kenyon suggested that there were no easy answers. 

“We didn’t make the decision lightly,” Kenyon said. “But we’ve got to try something.”

 

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