Ipswich Cornhill safety work finished – as the fountains go back on
PUBLISHED: 16:52 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:11 19 August 2020
More than two and a half years after work started to rebuild the Cornhill in the centre of Ipswich, work is finally complete after the safety measures were finally finished on Wednesday morning.
The last pieces of equipment used by contractors Brooks & Wood were removed by lunchtime and during the afternoon the fountains were turned on for the first time since last autumn – ironically just as steady rain started falling from the skies.
The safety work was planned last autumn following a safety audit of the Cornhill following its rebuilding during 2018. After it opened there were a number of incidents of people tripping on the steps and Ipswich pensioner John Stow died in hospital the day after falling down steps in January.
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The completion of the safety work has taken a long time – the final stage did not get underway until lockdown had descended on the country and was due to be completed at the end of last week.
In the event it took a few days longer – so instead of the fountains being turned on during the last days of the heatwave, they were turned on just as the heaven’s opened. But with better weather forecast over the weekend, it may still be that the area’s children get the chance to play in them before returning to school.
The completion of the work means that the Ipswich Farmers’ Market will be able to return to the town next month – although the pandemic has led to the cancellation of other planned events in the heart of the town.
The work has seen new permanent planters installed, along with new railings and new surfaces on the steps to try to prevent trip hazards and people falling.
There were some positive comments about the new look – although few people in the town centre were stopping to admire the new Cornhill on a miserable Wednesday afternoon.
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