Calls to install safety barriers along 'lethal' marina edge rejected

PUBLISHED: 07:17 04 April 2018

Portishead marina.

Portishead marina.

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Calls for safety barriers to be put up around Portishead Quays Marina have been knocked back amid fears it would lead to more potentially fatal incidents than it would solve.

Portishead Marina.Portishead Marina.

Portishead Town Council members voted against plans to fence off the whole waterfront because they felt it would encourage people to take risks instead.

Cllr Don Cameron, speaking at the authority’s recreation and works committee on March 28, led the calls for extra safety measures.

He said: “There’s quite a serious danger and when I walk along the marina I think the edge looks lethal.

“It does seem strange that local authorities, who are normally so keen on health and safety, but with this death trap in the town we don’t do anything about it.”

Portishead Marina.Portishead Marina.

There have been a few incidents of people entering the water over the years.

Amy Cadman drowned at the marina in 2016 after leaving The Poacher pub and a baby in 2013 had to be rescued after the pushchair it was in fell into the water.

But other town councillors believe increasing the number of barriers would cause more harm than good.

Cllr John Clark said the matter was investigated when the marina redevelopment was looked into about a decade ago.

Portishead Marina.Portishead Marina.

But he said the possibility was rejected because experts felt it would encourage people to climb on the railings.

He said the idea was ‘well-intentioned, but misguided’.

He went on to add most deaths in harbours and docks involve drunk young men and almost as many people die in Jacuzzi and hot tub accidents and no-one is suggesting they need banning.

Cllr Peter Mitchell agreed barriers are unnecessary, adding the ‘outrageous expense’ could not be justified of installing a mile’s worth of railings.

Cllr Sue Mason said: “There’s no need and I’m sure a parent that goes along there with children tell them to be careful and don’t go near the water.

“They learn to keep away from the edge.

“If there are railings there you will probably find children will go and have a look.”

The recreation and works committee agreed not to pursue railings, but the decision will go to the town council’s next main meeting for ratification.

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