|          ||This article is of personal interest to the author, being a child who played in Bankswood Park from the late 1950s so was faced with the traffic hazard to get there.
Given the amount of traffic which goes "Over the Top", many people living in Hadfield today would probably be amazed that the railway bridge on Park Road, near the station, was purely a road bridge for well over 100 years after the coming of the line. For much of that time, of course, traffic would not have been much of a problem, especially with horse drawn vehicles. However, with the increase in motorised traffic it did become more of a hazard.
Things started to come to a head in the summer of 1953 when Castle School playing field was fenced off with concrete posts and chain link fencing. A number of concerned parents wrote to the Glossop Chronicle, in August 1953, concerned that children would try to get to the recreation ground in Bankswood Park more often. One parent described the fencing of the field as "the claiming of the children's recreation ground at Hadfield for the use of scholars of the Castle School only", pointing out that it had been used as a recreation ground by children for many years. The writer contnued that in order to find a field to play - Bankswood - children would have to cross a busy six-road junction and walk along a road bridge over the railway, without any footpaths, which was also a bus route. It was suggested that, in order to reduce the danger, a footbridge could be erected on one side of the bridge as had already been done at Woolley Bridge. The newspaper printed the photo on the left to illustrate the danger.
|Despite the protests nothing happened and it was over four years (November 1958) before the matter was even discussed by Glossop and Derbyshire County Councils. The county surveyor reported there was little chance of a bridge being provided because grants for such work from the Ministry of Transport were so restricted. He asked if Glossop Council would help towards the cost, on the grounds that many people in Hadfield would use the footbridge to get to Bankswood Park. Glossop Council disagreed, thinking that, because Bankswood Park was not popular at the time, only a few of the people who would use such a footbridge would use it solely to get to the Park. Glossop Council felt it was the county's job to pay for a footbridge and urged that the county surveyor press for a footbridge in the interests of road safety.
The writer of the Watchman column referred to the fact that the borough surveyor had recently suggested that there was a need for a footpath over the Glossop brook at Manor Park Road at Old Glossop and the county had responded that a new footbridge there would have to take its place in the queue of highway jobs waiting to be done. Watchman's opinion was that it was surely obvious to all familiar with the traffic on the two roads that the suggested bridge at Park Road should be built with the minimum of delay, having been necessary "ever since the first double-decker bus piloted its way down this acute slope" - the wonder was that such a long period had elapsed since the commencement of the regular bus services.