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Felixstowe signs go mad

PUBLISHED: 20:00 29 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

WHY tell people something once . . . when you can tell them 20 times?

That's the question visitors and residents at Felixstowe are asking today after the most bizarre and unsightly row of warning signs suddenly appeared next to a nationally-important nature reserve.

WHY tell people something once . . . when you can tell them 20 times?

That's the question visitors and residents at Felixstowe are asking today after the most bizarre and unsightly row of warning signs suddenly appeared next to a nationally-important nature reserve.

Town mayor Doreen Savage fumed that it was the "nanny state gone absolutely berserk" and that a few signs would have got the message across.

But today Environment Agency officials defended the signs - which look like a battalion of soldiers guarding the coast - as necessary for safety, and said the alternative was to put a fence along the 600 metre wall.

Mrs Savage said the possibility that someone could fall and then sue the Environment Agency for damages was to blame.

"It's crazy - like a big joke. It's as if people don't possess common sense any more," she said.

"We live in a society where nobody is ever responsible for themselves any more and there has always got to be someone to blame.

"One sign every 500 yards would have been enough or by the steps. It's such an isolated, uncluttered area that any sign would have stood out and people would see it."

In the wall's 15 years' existence, no-one had ever fallen off it and everyone expected to find such structures on the coast.

"Everything has become so sanitised, all the adventure has been taken out of life. Children don't have a chance to explore or learn to be brave," added Mrs Savage.

Environment Agency spokesman Richard Woollard said the 20 signs had been put up on health and safety advice as part of the national Operation Public Safety.

They warn people to keep clear of the edge of the sea wall, that there is a drop over the side, and children must be supervised at all times.

"The option was to put up fencing all along the edge of the sea wall, but after a risk assessment was done it was deemed that signs were better than fencing," he said.

The signs would be reviewed after a year to see if the scheme should be changed.

n What do you think of the notices? Have we become a litigation mad society? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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