Danger warning over waterway at Lytham play area

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A Lytham great-grandad is calling for more to be done to warn families and lone youngsters about an open fence he feels is a danger to life.

 

Ron Emery, of Badger’s Walk, says he is horrified at the prospect of what might happen if a toddler wanders towards the bank of Liggard Brook at the Park View 4U site, which is a popular recreation area for all ages.

Liggard Brook is a waterway which flows through Lytham to the River Ribble and Ron is concerned about an area which he feels is concealed from but close to the play area.

A small sign urging people to stay away is at the site, but Ron feels it is inadequate, especially if a youngster wanders towards it without realising the brook is so close by – and is calling for more prominent warnings to ensure no-one falls in.

Ron Emery at the site which he feels poses danger to youngsters

Ron Emery at the site which he feels poses danger to youngsters

£150,000 anniversary fund-raising aim at Park View, Lytham

“In an ideal world the area is so dangerous, it should be closed to the public until adequate protection is in place. There is a clear cocktail of risk that is a danger to life/health on a daily basis and it needs to be taken seriously.

“Twice in my life I have identified similar risk where no one would listen and in both cases tragically I was proved right.

“In the first instance, a toddler drowned and in the second case, a young child suffered severe brain damage from near drowning.

The signage which Ron feels is inadequate

The signage which Ron feels is inadequate

“Every one of us has a responsibility to protect our children and all responsible parents using the facilities at Park View4U would surely wish be made aware of the concealed dangers lurking just a few feet away from where their children are playing and the health hazards so connected.

“As a grandfather of four and a great grandfather of two small children, I am only too aware of how quickly they can move and get themselves into trouble.

“This was brought home to me many years ago when my own young brother was killed on Lytham Road in Blackpool,while returning from Arnold School.

“Just one quick momentary thoughtless decision to run into the Road cost him his life.

Play equipment is close to the site

Play equipment is close to the site

“Of course that was a ‘foreseeable’ risk which most parents and the police had identified and wished to address by putting on a School Crossing Patrol, but just like this site, the people whose responsibility it was did not act quickly enough despite being made aware until it was too late.

Ron has contacted Fylde Council on the matter and a spokesman for the council said: “The Park View Trust and Fylde Council are currently undertaking an assessment of the brook and surrounding area, to consider reasonable measures to improve safety.

“There are a number of possible options, however any actions will require consultation with the Environment Agency, who are responsible for the brook/banks in the area.

“In the meantime the Council is working closely with the Trust to organise the installation of safety signage to signify a polluted waterway, as well as some periodic sections of post and wire fencing.”

Park View 4U park ranger Jukie Norman said: “Liggard Brook and the banks alongside it are the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

“We have spoken with Fylde Council and are happy to follow all recommendations from them and any consultations with the Environment Agency to increase awareness of the waterway.”