Angry man plans to turn huge pothole into lake to stop school-run parents

A furious homeowner plans to turn the massive pothole he dug up into a lake to stop parents on school runs from pulling up on the road outside his house. 

Derek Woodacer caught attention when he built a barricade to put a stop to mums and dads parking on his street in Wigan – but he says the council eventually made him remove it. 

He took his campaign one step further by digging a hollow section in the road – and plans to turn his pothole into what he has called ‘Lake Como-nside’. 

Yet, even neighbours who initially supported his cause now think he has gone too far, with his shenanigans ‘giving locals sleepless nights’. 

It’s claimed fights, vandalism, and complaints have all emerged as a result of his five-year battle – with claims his blockade could have even prevented emergency vehicles and bin workers getting through. 

The 65-year-old, who lives in Tyldesley, says he knows he’s upset people ‘but I just don’t care now’ – and warns ‘I have more plans in the future’. 

His fight with parents at nearby Mosley Common’s St John’s Primary School was first launched when he moved onto Commonside Road in 2017. 

‘When I moved in I thought “what the hell is this”’, he said. ‘The first week I saw a lot of people parking from the school. I felt a lot of abuse from parents when I told them they couldn’t park there.’ 

Derek says the road is unadopted, meaning the council is not responsible for it – leaving locals forking out thousands to repair it when it’s damaged.

‘I met every resident on the road and they told me about all the problems’, he said.

‘There have been assaults and property damage and we wanted to get this sorted. This was in terms of trying to stop people parking here. 

‘I said this is not acceptable and said there is no point in repairing the road if we can’t stop people parking here.’ 

‘They [Wigan Council] tried to force me to remove the stuff from the highway two months ago. That is when I got the notice. Then it was July 19 when they came to remove it.’ 

A neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, has claimed Derek ‘wants attention’ and says she’s ‘never known anything like’ his antics. 

‘He started first by tackling the parking by the school’, she said. ‘It is minutes they are there dropping off, people understand and would rather children get in school safely. 

‘He has blocked the road before. He wants the attention. He made the hole bigger. It’s draining. I’ve never known anything quite like it.’ 

Ruby Howard, who has lived on Commonside Road all her life, admits the school runs are frustrating – but she agrees Derek’s passion has ‘gone too far and he ‘just wants attention 

‘Originally our road is unadopted and we own up to halfway on the road to the middle of the street and we have the school at the end’, the 24-year-old said. ‘For 16 years we have always had a back and forth [with the school]. 

‘We all paid for it to be resurfaced, the parents driving up and down and he took it upon himself to put barriers in. That has led to abuse arguments with parents. It looked awful.

‘I contacted the council and have been trying to get it removed for two-and-a-half years. It got to the point where emergency vehicles and bin men couldn’t get through. 

‘It has been stressful, people on the street have sleepless nights. At first he was alright and wanted to help with the road, I think he got a bit too passionate.’ 

Despite concerns over his actions, Derek says nothing will stop him. 

‘I have upset enough people but I just don’t care now’, he said. ‘I don’t know where this leaves me with the neighbours now. This just makes me more determined to carry on.’ 

Metro has contacted Wigan Council and Mosley Common’s St John’s Primary School for comment.  

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