Petition to fix 'dangerous playground' in Sheffield reaches nearly 300 signatures

Nearly 300 people have signed a petition in one week calling on Sheffield Council to resurface what has been described as a dangerous playground before someone is seriously injured.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:15 pm

The council has so far refused to replace the flooring – which has caused numerous falls – on Abbeyfield Park, in Pitsmoor, blaming a lack of funding.

Danielle Fortier, a local parent who with others has been asking the council to refloor the playground for years, said: “In the dry weather it is totally fine, the minute it gets wet it just becomes an ice rink.

“We have asked repeatedly for something to be done about it and we just kept being told again and again there is no money for it but it has got to the point now where it is just dangerous.

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Town Hall.

“People aren’t using the park as much because it’s just not safe and it’s one of the few areas we have got in Pitsmoor where kids can play.

“We are not a wealthy area, a lot of people don’t have cars … It’s either get on a bus and take them to another place, which is a massive undertaking for a lot of families, or play in an unsafe area.”

The council did basic remedial work and sprinkled sand over the surface but campaigners said when it rains, the sand has washed away or caused mud puddles and became dangerous when dry.

Danielle said: “The underlying issue is the flooring is worn out, it’s too old and it’s not fit for purpose anymore.”

“All it’s going to take is for a granny or a grandad to come running after a toddler without realising it’s slippery and that could be a really serious situation. At that age if someone falls over, even if they break a hip, that’s a life-changing injury. I dread to think what could happen. It’s genuinely scaring me that someone is going to get seriously injured.”

Shirley Northcott, one of 270 people who have signed the petition so far, commented: “I’m signing because I’m one of the people who have slipped. I’m a grandmother and any broken bones I experience won’t heal as quickly as they would if I were younger.”

Vicki Bennetts, who also signed, said: “Our grandson broke his arm several years ago falling from quite a low height. I can’t believe it has not been made safe. Please see these works as a major priority.”

Emilie Taylor added: “My children play here, as do many local children. They have fallen and hurt themselves and in trying to help I have fallen too. I have watched elderly grandparents slip and fall when trying to help children. It is incredibly dangerous and the sand is not helping.”

Ben Marshall said: “The playground is such a vital part of this community. A lifeline for parents and carers. But it’s impossible to actually enjoy whilst it’s unsafe. The difference it would make to countless families here cannot be overstated.”

The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-provide-safe-flooring-for-the-playground-at-abbeyfield-park

Sheffield Council was contacted for comment.