I am incensed enough to reply to the article in the May 17 edition of the Whitby Gazette regarding the ‘Colditz’ barriers installed on the sea-front.
Yet again the council seemingly have panicked in response to a Councillors ‘safety concerns’, yet in reality I am sure this is driven by the fear of a financial claim from the no-win no-fee brigade.
The disappointment is the lack of courtesy to the residents of Whitby who are funding these monstrosities and the horrendous impact they have to the sea frontage.
Normally any changes to the local environment are posted on lamp-posts etc, close to the affected area advising of a proposed change; why in this instance was this planning procedure omitted?
The barriers are apparently only there for 20 weeks before being removed and permanent barriers are installed – what is the panic? What a complete waste of public money. Why not just install signage absolving responsibility for injury – the perimeter of the concrete path is clearly marked with a yellow line and I would have thought a few signs would have been a better use of public funds for the sake of a few weeks.
Anyone who has used a railway station or the London Underground will be aware of the yellow line separating the platform from the edge as a warning to stand-back; similar to yellow line along the beach-front clearly marking the edge.
Perhaps the railway/underground should install similar barriers? I think not.
Clearly little thought was given to the actual design and location of the temporary barriers. On the first Saturday following the installation, I watched three children balancing along the nine inch piece of concrete between the fence and the ‘deadly drop’ - one child was even being encouraged by the mother with a ‘clever boy’ - well done Councillor Chance for creating a new playground.
By the way, have you examined the sharp edges on the steel bases of the fencing? What plans do you have to stop a child from cutting their feet?
As someone who rents a beach hut, my frustration is also the complete lack of communication from the council with the people who are paying for a facility, which is directly affected.
No doubt the deal is now done on the permanent barriers; one would hope that someone specifying the replacements use a little common sense and consider the sea-views a unique element making a trip to the beach something to remember - not to be left with the thought ‘nice beach, shame about the fencing’.