Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, has spoken of her ‘relief’ following a speedy resolution to commuters’ concerns about the potential loss of parking near to Greenfield train station.
Many rail passengers park for free in the nearby grounds of Saddleworth Rangers Rugby Club on Shaw Hall Bank Road. But recently many of them, along with concerned locals, approached Debbie’s office asking if she could look into rumours that this popular, off road free car park was about to close. Now, the Club has confirmed the car park will remain open on existing arrangements after Debbie wrote to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) about the matter.
Rangers’ Secretary, Peter Townsend, said: “Many people were beginning to fear the worst as they noted that all signage around our car park has been removed recently. Present contract arrangements are that we open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday. The car park is manned by our own staff throughout and is free to all rail users.
“Our staff have received a growing number of queries from concerned rail passengers in the last couple of weeks. They say that they would be badly affected by a lack of safe, secure parking in the immediate area. Some anxious local residents, particularly along Shaw Hall Bank Road, have also been down to the Club to express their concerns about the knock on effect of rail users’ cars blocking up local streets. From our point of view it would have been a very difficult situation too as we depend heavily on the rental income provided by TfGM.
“We’re an amateur club, with no private income, and very reliant on our small army of volunteers who give up their free time willingly to provide opportunities for hundreds of children and adults across the area to enjoy the rugby league experience. This is our 84th season. Generations of families across the borough have connected with the Club over those years. We hope to continue that legacy for many generations to come.
“The Club is really grateful to Debbie for getting straight on to this issue and writing to TfGM, who have now confirmed that the car park will remain open on existing arrangements.”
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: “I’m really relieved for both commuters and the club that this issue has been resolved.”