PRESS NOTICE
 
The Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday, 17th September 2002
 
Move to ease canal link safety fears
 
BRITISH Waterways has moved to allay fears over safety at Lancashire’s newest tourist attraction.

Debbie Lumb, the Lancaster Canal manager for British Waterways, has written to residents and politicians who raised concerns about the new Ribble Link, which will be officially opened on Friday.

Meeting were called amid fears that the approach to the lock at Cottam is unsuitable for the emergency services, there is no emergency telephone and there is no edge around the locks.

Private

Teenagers have already been seen swimming in the water and paddling around in dinghies, and the private site has been vandalised.

But Mrs Lumb says thee emergency services contributed when the plans were drawn up, adding that a telephone is not needed.

She said: “The site is no more or less likely to suffer with accidents than many other attractions which are more remote, including locations on the canal network.”

Elsewhere fences are being installed, but only in selected places, such as on a slope by the lock flight to stop people falling into the brook.

Mrs Lumb said:” Fencing at locks has to cater for both the possibility that people fall into the lock and also that people may need to evacuate from their boats in an emergency.

“Boaters require safe access on to the coping for tying up boats and operating the lock.

Councillor Christine Abram was worried the authorities could be liable if anything happened.

She also raised fears that nearby Lea Road could turn into a motorbike run and a dumping ground for burnt out cars.

She Said: “Please do not think that we are against this venture, but we cannot sit by and watch an accident happen without all safety measures being taken.”

 
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© The Lancashire Evening Post, September 2002