Anger over cemetery bollard obstruction

A disabled woman says she is unable to visit the graves of loved ones in Fleetwood Cemetery because a barrier is restricting her access.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 10:08 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:05 am
Joyce Wiseman says she is now unable to access the graves of loved ones in Fleetwood Cemetery due to a barrier which has been installed

Joyce Wiseman, who grew up in Fleetwood but now lives in Ansdell, near Lytham, has parents and grandparents’ graves in the cemetery, off Beach Road.

Poignantly, the tiny grave of her son, Peter, who died tragically aged just two in 1963, is also in the cemetery.

But Mrs Wiseman, who is in her 80s, says the path she uses in the cemetery to get to these graves cannot be accessed in her small car because she can’t get it through the barrier.

Mrs Wiseman says she has to leave the car just a short way into the graveyard, but because she is disabled and can only walk very short distances, she struggles to walk past the bollard and up to the family graves.

However, Wyre Council says the bollards, several of which are placed at various points within the cemetery, are there to protect graves.

Mrs Wiseman, who grew up in Fleetwood, said: “I don’t know why this barrier has been put there but I am furious about it.

“I have spoken to Wyre Council about this thing and one of the people on the phone told me that I could get someone else to put the flowers on the graves.

“I don’t want someone to do it, I would like to be able to do it myself.

“It shouldn’t be too much to ask to be able to visit the grave of your relatives without something stopping you.

“In this day and age, with more effort being made for disabled access, it just isn’t good enough.

“If the council kept a straightforward one-way route, there would be no need for cars to reverse and possible damage graves.

“It makes me wonder if they consulted disabled people about these barriers.”

A spokeswoman for Wyre Council said the bollards been in place for some time.

She said: “The reason is to stop cars and other vehicles damaging the head stones and graves.

“As the pathway is narrow, vehicles can drive up it but have no room to turn around and drive back down without potentially knocking head stones over and ruining graves.

“After this happened a number of time we put the bollards in place.

“The bollards are removed if there is a funeral taking place.

“In terms of access for the disabled, mobility scooters can fit through the bollards and access the pathway and if necessary residents can phone the cemetery staff on (01253) 891000 during opening hours and ask for the bollards to be removed in advance.”