I completely agree with recent letters and the article regarding the play area in the Abbey Gardens (Bury Free Press, April 13). It is now unsuitable for anyone with toddlers or more than one child to supervise.
I’ve recently had my daughter and have a two-and-a-half year-old son. I went to the play area and found that it was almost impossible to push the pram on the bark in the play area, as the bark got stuck in the wheels, so the only way I could supervise my son properly was to leave the pram with my baby in on the path by the benches. Obviously I was not happy doing this so we left quite soon after arriving.
I am fortunate that my son doesn’t run off very much but I avoid the play area now because I know if he did decide to run off I could not chase after him quickly enough with a pram and, as the bridge is only a few feet away from the play area, this is not a risk I am happy taking. I found the whole visit fairly stressful.
I now take him to Nowton Park, as I know that the play area is completely enclosed with only one entrance/exit. I can easily manoeuvre the pram there and can let my son explore in a safe area, it such a shame that I now have to pay to park there as well.
I find it bizarre that council officials have dismissed so many parents/carers’ concerns about this. I note their comment in the article about many children using the area safely – yes, they have, but surely the risk of a child running over the bridge and falling into the river is too great for them to ignore? Is acknowledging that a proper fence needs to be erected such a humiliating prospect that they would rather risk a child coming to harm? Of course children need to be supervised properly but when you have an inquisitive toddler or more than one child you need to rely on suitable safety measures being in place i.e. a fence.
I imagine that the reason many people still use it is because it’s better than nothing, but it is not better than the previous play area – it was completely enclosed and had double the amount of baby swings!
Mrs L Sadler,
Bury St Edmunds.