We're sick and tired of our quiet cul-de-sac being used as a shortcut to get a Big Mac

Local resident Joe Kelly of Redvers Road in Darwen
Local resident Joe Kelly of Redvers Road in Darwen -Credit:Jason Roberts/LancsLive

Residents of a quiet cul-de-sac say they've had enough. Back in 1997, they knew something bad was going to happen.

More than two decades ago, the M65 was extended. It would link East Lancashire to the M6 and M61.

Prior to its opening locals staged countless protests as houses were compulsorily purchased and part of Darwen was effectively segregated by a junction leading to the motorway.

Five years later the services at Junction 4 opened. It brought the town it's first ever McDonald's restaurant - despite the services initially being named 'Blackburn Services'.


A small victory came in the form of a name change. The motorway stop was was re-named to 'Blackburn with Darwen Services' following complaints from locals who levelled their geographical argument at its owners.

Residents say people use a hole in the fence to get to McDonald's
Residents say people use a hole in the fence to get to McDonald's -Credit:Jason Roberts/LancsLive

But for some, there were bigger issues at hand. And those who live in Redvers Road in Darwen continue to lament their opening as their quiet cul-de-sac ends with a footpath leading to the site. Their road has become a thoroughfare, they say, for hungry fast food lovers on their way to get a Big Mac.

Edinburgh-born Joe Kelly made Darwen his home "20-odd years ago" when he was working on a job in Burnley. The 80-year-old said that, at its peak, he would see up to 40 or 50 youngsters using Redvers Road to access the services.

"A lot of people have moved out because of it," Joe told LancsLive. "It has got better since we complained to [Darwen Vale] school and they've told kids not to use our road as a shortcut to get to McDonald's but some still do."

Robyn says the situation hasn't improved
Robyn says the situation hasn't improved -Credit:Jason Roberts/LancsLive

As pupils from Darwen Vale High School are permitted to leave the grounds for their lunch break there is no suggestion that they are doing anything wrong in using the formal footpath connecting Redvers Road to the services.

Resident Robyn disagreed with her neighbour and said that the situation hasn't improved. She said that since a hole was made in the fence at the bottom of the road more and more youngsters are using Redvers Road to get to McDonald's.

"I had to move some on the other day because they were screaming and shouting," the 70-year-old said. "I take them on, the little f******.

"The council came and put a steel gate in but now that's been bent so they can get through. Since we complained they still keep using it. The really annoying thing is that they leave litter along the footpath even though there's a big bin there."