Chorley's Rivington Pike car park closed by United Utilities as 'social distancing is stepped up'
United Utilities is to close all its reservoir and recreational site car parks from tonight as the government urges people to follow its advice on social distancing.
The move follows similar decisions by other landowners who have seen a surge in visitors due to the spring weather.
Toilets, car parks and other gated entrances will be shut from tonight (March 23), United Utilities has confirmed.
Paula Steer, United Utilities’ director responsible for health and safety and estate management, said: “We’re sorry to be doing this as we know these sites are enjoyed by so many and it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly.
"We really need to think about the well-being of everyone in our communities at the moment, and that means avoiding unnecessary travel or close contact with those outside your household.
“While getting out and enjoying the fresh air is still important for us all, we need to restrict the numbers of visitors travelling to popular sites like Dove Stone and Rivington. Over the weekend the car parks were heaving and people were mixing in large numbers.
“For that reason we are closing the car parks at all of our sites and we appeal to people not to drive to them."
Among the the recreational sites affected by the closures is Rivington Pike, a well-known walking and hiking landmark situated between Chorley and Bolton.
At 363m high, it is the most westerly high point of Winter Hill in the West Pennine Moors.
It is considered one the best viewpoints in North West England.
If you live locally you will still be able to walk to the sites and exercise your dog, but United Utilities is urging members of the public to keep a safe two metre distance from others.
Paula added: "These are difficult times, but they won’t last forever.
"We look forward to reopening the car parks and welcoming everyone back to our estates as soon as the official advice changes.”
As the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK continues to climb, the government is urging people to follow its guidance on social distancing in an effort to contain the spread.
The government is currently advising Britons to avoid unnecessary social contact and travel amid the health pandemic, but there are fears the country could be put under full lockdown if people fail to follow the advice.
Social distancing is hugely important as it effectively reduces further transmission of the virus, and also helps to lessen the strain on the already overstretched NHS.
While the virus can still be transmitted to others in a household, if those individuals all self-isolate it ensures the infection won’t be passed on any further, helping to significantly cut the total number of people who get infected and reduce the overall spread.
For more information about the closures visit www.unitedutilities.com