New safety measures could be installed at Norwich’s Memorial Gardens, because the current design does not meet building regulations and has led to a string of people falling over.

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The War Memorial gardens and Norwich Market. Picture: Denise BradleyThe War Memorial gardens and Norwich Market. Picture: Denise Bradley

The public were allowed back in to the gardens in March after a £2.6m revamp, but a spate of visitors, many of them older people, have tripped on the steps.

The city council has now submitted an application to its own planning committee wanting to install brass strips and studs, to “act as a visual and tactile aid” to warn about the changes of level created by the steps.

A report by the city council’s principal technical officer Steve Brown, which accompanies the planning application, states: “Even though the Memorial Gardens are not strictly a building they are classed as such and, as a public accessible area, Norwich City Council needs to ensure the health and safety of the public and reasonable provision for access.

“Since the opening of the redesigned gardens, a number of people have fallen down the steps with one gentleman sustaining a broken nose.”

Temporary strips which were placed on the steps have got the seal of approval from the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.

Chris Maule-Oatway, equipment and information adviser at the association, writing in support of the application, said: “As a totally blind person, I had no difficulty in finding the strips with my long cane and my feet.

“Therefore, on behalf of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, I strongly support Norwich City Council’s request to use studs and brass strips as tactile and visual markers for these terraced steps in Norwich Memorial Gardens.”

• What do you think of the Memorial Gardens? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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