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

20 comments

  • I think they're fine as they are, but they will need redressing soon anyway once the skateboarders have finished trashing them

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • Absolutely ridiculous, I wonder if the human species has actually reached its pinnacle in exploration and climbing every mountain to see what’s on the other side? Or as one observer put it “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. - Albert Einstein

    Report this comment

    BOBBY

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • I agree, and while they're at it, they might as well put a cycle lane in too..

    Report this comment

    frank young

    Monday, July 30, 2012

  • Who authorized rejigging of this space without checking that it conformed to Building Regulations? The council should hang their heads in shame!

    Report this comment

    julygirl

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • The refurbishment of the under croft and the memorial took nearly a whole year and cost 8.4 million. The remains of old metal railings are still in some of the stone, left to dis- colour the memorials other stones below. There are not enough steps and their gradient is to steep. Now the follow on costs are going to add more woe. The memorial is plagued by up to 1000 lunchtime eaters who use the memorial to feed approx. the same amount of pigeons with their leftovers. A single peregrine falcon on top of City Hall clock-tower would keep Brenda's drive for more healthier people alive, dispersing these flying rats, as for humans leaving their rubbish around, fine them on the spot or make them clear it up there and then, every lunchtime, until it sinks in.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • People are so ignorant and uncaring these days-witness how they treat the graves in St Stephen's as they trek through to Chapel field- an absolute disgrace that so many old monuments are being wrecked by morons who can't keep on a path or keep their brats under control . Same applies to the lack of protection for the fabric of St Peter Mancroft at the west end. As for the memorial, brass would only get pinched- maybe fence it off, it didn't need seats they could have been placed elsewhere, and while they are at it get specially trained Harris hawks to drive the McDonald's browsing chavs off the Haymarket steps too.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • open air restaurant,smoking ghastly roll ups place of reflection used by the disrespectful in the main more like.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • Many visitors,some ex-servicemen and women,are frail and elderly,some don't see too well.The authorities have a duty of care.Safety legislation exists to protect all of thus but the ex-service personnel are particularly affected.It's diifficult to understand sometimes but it is even there to protect the likes of T.Doff and BOBBY.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • If the gardens do not meet current building regulations, what does that say about both the architect, the builder & the council department who over saw the refurbishment? In this time of diminishing budgets is it not time to part company with those staff & contractors etc who unable to manage their job & our funds in a suitable manner??

    Report this comment

    el84

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • Yes, it's foolish that a new 'flagship' structure like this does not conform to building regs and H & S guidelines. However it's not going to cost a fortune to make the changes which have been tested out and approved by Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, so let's just make them and everything should be fine. It is common -- and always has been -- for new buildings, new trains etc. to be completed and delivered with silly faults that need to be rectified. I hope the City Council puts the work in hand straightaway.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Monday, July 30, 2012

  • When the refurbishment was complete , I went there . I have perfect eyesight and walk miles every day in town and country . I was shocked how dangerous the steps were . As ` a fine city ` says , there is no contrast to the step edges , I nearly went over myself , just couldn`t see the steps from the flat ground . I`ve never ventured there again .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • @Peter Watson. Thanks for your solicitude, but I don't need protecting, especially walking in Norwich. In fact, I have been so "protected" as a single-handed longshore fisherman that the job has become impossible. I don't disagree that there should be standards of protection in factories, on farms and so forth, but this has now seeped into every corner of our lives. It's high time that we take main responsibility for our lifestyles, actions etc; and appreciate that life is a risky old business which, one way or another, kills us in the end.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • So citizen of Norwich from 1948 not allowed to comment? I agree with Ingo.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • I tried to post a comment, largely in response to Mr. Wagenknecht`s, but was thwarted. One more try. The "Flying Rats" problem is also rife in Wroxham-Hoveton (Norfolk`s answer to Budapest). Holiday makers feed their surplus chips and burger buns to a motley crew of assorted bird-life, increasingly at risk of the same morbid obesity as their benefactors. This happens on a spare patch of land adjacent to the Danube, sorry, Bure. The resulting faeces deposition is not a pretty sight! I asked a local musician if he could compose an equivalent of Strauss II`s "Blue Danube", called "Brown Bure". He said "I Donau". Ref Memorial Gardens, it is almost beyond belief that a schoolboy error, like those steps, could happen in the micro-managed World of Elfin Safety

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • "It is common -- and always has been -- for new buildings, new trains etc. to be completed and delivered with silly faults that need to be rectified" really!!? Why? It took me all of 10 seconds to notice that the steps were dangerous the first time we walked through the gardens. It is surely standard practice for steps to have some sort change of colour or texture to indicate their presence nowadays isn't it? And as for it won't cost too much - when the council are cutting care for the elderly, disabled etc to beyond the bone, anything is too much.

    Report this comment

    Ian S

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

  • People don't 'blunder over' if steps are easy to see. These are not. The drop is shallow and the stone colouring serves to disguise them because there is no contrast at the step edges. Those who find this curious would be best advised to go and have a look. What amazes me is that putting proper treads in was never part of the original works.

    Report this comment

    a fine city

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • too many steps and no yellow paint to highlight them.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • I find this all a bit curious. Presumably the people who managed to blunder over live in entirely flat places, and never climb steps or stairs. The memorial is greatly improved after becoming a thorough disgrace to Norwich, and I don't suppose that "Health and Safety" was uppermost in the minds of the men and women it commemorates.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • This has been restored to it's original form and there were steps then, right from when it was first built. Humans really have got to use common sense when they move around anywhere.

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • Tried again. Same result. Goodbye.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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