A FORMER colliery is being plagued by off-road motorists who have twice damaged a fence to gain access to the site.

The fence was erected by Wigan Council to prevent motorists from gaining access to the former Bickershaw Colliery site in Leigh but was torn down just one week later and again on June 21.

Residents living near the site are now been urged to help tackle the issue by reporting them to the police.

Clr Kevin Anderson said: “The Bickershaw site has attracted off-road motorists for years and we need to work together to put a stop to it.

“We have introduced many measures to ensure that the area is safe, secure and crime free, however criminals persist in causing costly damage and endangering the public by accessing the site with their motor vehicles.

“We need the residents in the area to act as our eyes and ears to help protect the site and to stop any further criminal damage from occurring. With the help of the community we aim to make the Bickershaw site a safe and enjoyable place.”

The fence was erected when Wigan Council spent more than £20,000 improving access to the Fir Tree Flash area of the site.

The council believe that the damage was caused by off-road motorists using 4x4’s to force entry onto the site.

A number of security measures have been implemented by the council in order to prevent off-road motorists accessing the site such as erecting steel fences and gates and putting boulders in their path, but persistent criminal damage means that implementing these security measures is becoming very costly.

To help prevent this kind of activity or to report criminal damage in the area call the police non-emergency number 101.