A NUMBER of roads will be closed and extra police on patrol to help people resist the temptation of walking up Rivington Pike on Good Friday.

GP surgeries will be open throughout the long weekend along with support services for those who need them.

This bank holiday, visitors are being urged not to carry out the popular Easter tradition to avoid the real risk of covid-19 transmission.

The Bolton News:

Bolton Council will be closing George's Lane, Colliers Row, Scout Road and Walker Fold Road, with access only allowed for residents.

Families who live close to the Pike are being urged to stay away too.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “We know that this a family tradition for many in Horwich and across Bolton but we would urge you to please stay at home.

"Right now we have a fight on our hands and the worst is almost certainly yet to come.

"We would urge everyone to follow the government’s guidance.

"If you stay at home this Easter, you will be helping to protect our NHS and saving lives.”

The Bolton News:

Good Friday traditionally sees tens of thousands of people, mostly families, visit Rivington Pike and the Easter fair that sets up there.

But this year, amid fears the age-old tradition could make social distancing impossible in a time of coronavirus, landowners, councils, police and charities are urging people to stay away.

The aim is to protect people and their communities from the risk of spreading the potentially lethal disease.

In a joint statement NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton Council and Bolton CVS, said: "On behalf of us all, we’d like to wish you a Happy Easter and say a big ‘thank you’ to our staff across all organisations for their hard work over the past few weeks.

"We’d also like to thank you for your efforts so far in sticking to the government instructions of regular hand washing, only going out when you absolutely need to and keeping two metres apart from people you don’t live with.

"As we head into the Bank Holiday weekend we are fully aware that this is an Easter like no other.

"For you, the message is simple: Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save lives.

"No parties with the neighbours, no trips up Rivington Pike and no days out to the countryside or seaside."

Car parks, as well as toilets, are all currently closed and that there will be none of the usual fairground attractions or food stalls.

The Bolton News:

(Picture by Susan Swain)

United Utilities’ director responsible for health and safety and estate management, Paula Steer said: "It’s incredibly sad, but the risk of COVID 19 transmission means that heading to Rivington this year just would not be safe. This will be incredibly disappointing news to many, but we hope they will understand why.”


The Bolton News:

Superintendent Karen Edwards at Lancashire Police said, in the run up to the Easter weekend, officers had had some issues with people coming from out of the area, to visit rural areas and reminded people to follow government advice.

She said: “I want to support the local community around places such as Rivington and beauty spots and urge people to make themselves aware of government information relating to the National Emergency. It is everyone’s responsibility to do all they can to keep themselves safe but also others.

“If excessive numbers of people visit rural areas it is impossible to maintain social distancing. This increases the risk of infection, in particular to vulnerable people in our communities.

"We are working hard with our communities and partners to help people understand the rules and guidelines and why they are important. We thank everyone who has complied with the legislation so far, you have saved lives and helped the NHS cope with this public health crisis. We really view enforcement as a last resort, however it may be necessary if people don’t adhere to government advice and stay home and stay local.

“We have additional officers on duty this weekend and we will be patrolling those spaces where we anticipate social distancing will not be adhered to, this includes open spaces, rural locations and parks over the Easter period. Please support each other, use your common sense, ask yourself if your journey is essential and adhere to the guidance. This will protect you, our communities and our brave colleagues in NHS who are working so hard to look after us all."


The Bolton News:

Over Easter health and other organisations will be on hand to support those who need it during this crisis

The council’s Response Hub, which has been set up to help the most vulnerable people with no family, friends or neighbours who can help with shopping, will be available.

Call 01204 337221 if you need help, Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm and Saturday 9am – 1.30pm.

Doctors, nurses and support staff at the hospital will be working round the clock looking after the most poorly.

And GPs will be available if you need them.

Traditionally, practices are closed on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday and although buildings will not be ‘open’ to call in, the practice can be reached by telephone.

Local pharmacies will also be open over the weekend. Some may be open longer but all pharmacies will be open at least from 2pm-5pm on each of the Bank Holidays.

Most schools will remain open for the children of key workers, where required.

The joint statement added: "There’ll be other services working behind scenes to keep Bolton active, connected and virtually entertained as we continue to do our best in difficult circumstances.

We are all still here. We are all working to help you at your time of greatest need.

All we ask in return is that you ‘be kind’ to those frontline workers, the people answering the phones, the health and care professionals and the volunteers. If you need us, we’re here.

"But please, help us to continue providing these services by doing the right thing: Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives."


The Bolton News:

To replace the traditional walk to Rivington Pike a competition is being held to stage a Rivington-inspired party in the home or in the garden in line with the lockdown procedures and people encouraged to share, tweet and post their pictures using the hashtag #RivEGGton.

And if they tag Rivington Terraced Gardens they could be in with the chance of winning a free family ticket to a future event there.

Rivington Heritage Trust’s Vanessa Ashworth said the idea of the competition was to help manage the inevitable disappointment that many local families were bound to feel.

She said: “This has been an annual event for longer than many people could remember and families will have it in their calendar, especially in nearby communities like Adlington, Heath Charnock, Chorley and Horwich. We’re saying that, just for this year, it’s not worth the risk, even for a walk. Go online instead and keep the tradition alive until it bounces back, better than ever in 2021.

“We want everyone who loves Rivington’s Easter Fair to re-imagine the Pike festivities in their own way, making sure they stay within the confines of their own homes and gardens, with just the people in their household. Apart from the need to respect the lockdown restrictions, just about anything else goes; paint a backdrop of the Pike, build a model, have a picnic, roll an egg down your stairs ­— anything your imagination allows.”

To take part in the Rivington Fair competition, upload your entry picture, photo or video to Facebook, Instagram or twitter, tagging @RivingtonHeritageTrust on Facebook or @Rivingtontg on nstagram and Twitter) with the hashtag #RivEGGton before the deadline of 0900H on Easter Monday.

The winner will be announced via social media on Easter Monday.