Decaying Birnbeck Pier is ‘not a playground’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 June 2016

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust is urging people to stay away from the crumbling structure.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust is urging people to stay away from the crumbling structure.

Archant

Campaigners battling to save Weston-super-Mare’s Birnbeck Pier have issued fresh reminders about the danger of the decaying landmark after they recently spotted three people venturing onto the pier’s bridge.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, which hopes to save the grade II* listed pier and the adjoining island from falling into the sea, issued the warning after volunteers saw three people exploring the structure.

The pier was permanently closed in 1994 and has been in a state of worsening disrepair even since. Its owner, CNM Estates, is working with the Trust to preserve and restore the site and is in the process of demolishing the pier’s north jetty after it partially collapsed in storms at the end of 2015.

According to the Trust, the people involved in the incident on June 12 were aged between 16 and 26 and were wearing high-visibility jackets.

The Trust said on its Facebook page: “They quite obviously did not care about putting others’ lives at risk, who would have had to recover their bodies if the planks had given way, nor the grief their families would have gone through.

“We cannot stress enough how dangerous the bridge is and this message needs to be passed around so those who don’t heed the warning signs and scale other preventative measures can maybe think before putting others at risk.

“The bridge and the island is a very dangerous place and is not a playground.”

The trust’s secretary Heidi Griffin said people entering the site were a regular problem for the group and added CCTV footage of anyone caught breaking into the pier would be passed on to the police.

She told the Mercury: “There were teenagers on the bridge – it is not the first time. It happened a few weeks ago when some sun-worshippers went out there and came back at high tide in the dark.

“The whole area is covered by CCTV and we do call the police if we see people, because it is a danger with them going under the bridge.

“The whole island is locked as much we can lock it, but at low tide you can walk out there. We have taken measures to secure the gates to the bridge a little bit more.”

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