Barrier warnings made before crash

Evina Davis from Concerned Residents Of Poulton (CROP) and Centre Manager George McCaffer inspect the bent barrier.
Evina Davis from Concerned Residents Of Poulton (CROP) and Centre Manager George McCaffer inspect the bent barrier.

A MINIBUS carrying autistic children crashed into a car park barrier just days after it was dubbed ‘too low’.

Last month Wyre Council replaced existing barriers at the Teanlowe Centre car park in Poulton which were in disrepair.

It is hoped the 2m high barriers will stop unauthorised vehicles from using the car park and prevent illegal settlement by travellers.

But residents and traders slammed the barriers branding them ‘unsafe’ and ‘ridiculous’.

And on Thursday a minibus full of autistic children crashed into the barrier – fuelling their anger.

George McCaffer, manager of Market Hall, Poulton, said: “We told the council the barriers were too low but they didn’t listen.

“Now someone has smashed into one. To me that proves the point. People will not bother coming to the town, I just do not see the reasoning here.”

Wyre Council has said it will not remove the barriers but will look at amending the height following the incident.

A spokesman added: “Wyre Council is currently reviewing the barriers at Teanlowe Car Park with a view to allowing access to vehicles adapted for wheelchair users.

“We are considering a number of options to determine the most suitable way of resolving this issue.

“It has been necessary to install height barriers at this car park and others in Wyre to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians by stopping large, unauthorised vehicles from using them.

“When height barriers were introduced we consulted the ambulance and fire services as a precautionary measure and agreed a procedure to allow emergency access.”

But traders say restricting delivery vehicles is ‘hampering their businesses’.

Lee Gardner, of The Pork Shop, Ball Street, said: “I don’t understand why the council has put the barriers up – there has been no consultation.

“We have one HGV which delivers about three times a week and the drivers are now struggling to get close to the shops.”

Wyre councillor Penny Martin said she asked the council to review the situation because of the problems.

She said: “I suggested Wyre could explore limiting the timing of the barriers to support local traders. Unfortunately it seems there is no compromise.”