Cliff danger: parents slated

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 17 June 2010

A PROMINENT Sidmouth businessman has hit out at irresponsible parents picnicking on the cliffs with their children. Tim Ford, owner of Fords at Sidmouth, told the Herald he was passing the cliffs last week and saw much to his disbelief people having pi

A PROMINENT Sidmouth businessman has hit out at "irresponsible" parents picnicking on the cliffs with their children.

Tim Ford, owner of Fords at Sidmouth, told the Herald he was passing the cliffs last week and saw much to his disbelief people having picnics on the dangerous rocks.

He said: "I couldn't believe how people were sitting along the cliffs and it was awful looking at the children running across them.

"All there needs to be is another rock fall and everyone on the cliff would end up dead.

"I honestly don't know why people do it but they don't seem to realise the danger.

"In my opinion the stairs should be removed altogether so no one can access the cliffs."

Despite danger signs in the area, some people have continued to flout the warnings, which has angered Councillor Chris Gibbings.

He said: "There is only so much we can do and we have made it perfectly clear what a dangerous place the cliffs are to be.

"Even if we put up notices banning people from the cliffs there isn't anyone to enforce it.

"What really upsets me is people take their kids there and the kids have no capability of turning around to their parents and saying no-that is really out of order."

Although East Devon District Council have put signs up next to the stairs, the National Trust is responsible for entry to the east side of the cliff.

As of yet, the trust has not put up any warning signs but Mr Gibbings believes people would ignore them.

He added: "When the area was blocked off due to the Napoli being beached I saw people climb over the railings and I have warned people of the dangers but they just respond by shrugging their shoulders.

"One day some one is going to get seriously hurt or killed- it is an accident waiting to happen."

A meeting was scheduled to be held this week at EDDC and the erosion of the cliffs was to be discussed in full.


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