Tameside’s forgotten toll road?

There are very few toll roads in Greater Manchester. One of them incurs a modest toll across the Manchester Ship Canal. This is the Warburton Bridge toll road, managed by The Peel Group.

At the other end of our City Region, there is one you might have forgotten about or didn’t know existed. It is somewhere between the village of Matley and Mottram-in-Longdendale, and one I came across on my walk.

The road in question is Harrop Edge Road. Starting at Matley Lane, it finishes at Mottram Road, where it meets the A57, A560, and the M67 motorway. It has another stretch that veers north by north west a few metres short of Mottram Road, leading to a farm and Harrop Edge’s radio masts.

South of that junction, the main stretch of Harrop Edge Road becomes a bridleway. Generally, access isn’t open to motor traffic of any description. The road continues in this form down to Grange Farm, before the last few yards of the road is tarmacked.

At Cheetham Fold Farm, we see two No Entry signs, none of which to Margaret Calvert standards. There is also a signpost pointing towards footpaths in Mottram and Godley directions.

Minutes before we reach the Mottram roundabout, we stumbled upon these curios seen below:

From the red sign, it states how: 1) that section of Harrop Edge Road is a Private Road; 2) the road’s opening hours to motor traffic (which are congruent with Farm Shop opening times); and that 3) entry was only permissible with a token from the Farm Shop. Also that the notice was effective from the 01 October 1996. Back when GM Buses North shed its Merseyside operations months into FirstBus’ takeover.

As the gate was photographed resting on a grass verge, it is assumed that the road is either accessible to all vehicles, or inaccessible to anybody without a good pair of walking shoes. Or a horse.

The business that occupies the farmhouse at the bottom, Grange Farm Feeds, is open from 12 00 to 16 00, six days a week. It is closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Before I go…

Do you have any more information as to why that section of Harrop Edge Road has been a toll road and/or closed to vehicles? Does anybody know how long this arrangement had been in place? Feel free to comment.

Before I finish, the cover picture is the Miniature Castle farmhouse and one of the ventilation shafts for the water tunnel between the Longdendale Reservoirs and Godley Reservoir. As this is the last East of the M60 post of 2020, we would like to wish all our readers old and new a Happy New Year.

S.V., 31 December 2020.

3 thoughts on “Down Our Street Special: A Toll Story

  1. Let’s all have a very great 2021! Cheers Mr V for your ever entertaining posts. 👍


  2. It was quite a handy cut through to avoid the congestion on Mottram. I’ve not used it myself but I understand that the top end at Matley lane is adopted by the local authority. The lower section was upgraded by an enterprising farmer to give an alternative to sitting in traffic.


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