Step hazard at Felixstowe Ferry

RESIDENTS have today roped off a dangerous flight of steps on a sea wall after two incidents of people falling down them.People living at Felixstowe Ferry have been waiting seven months for the wooden steps to be repaired – and fear someone could suffer a serious injury unless action is taken soon.

RESIDENTS have today roped off a dangerous flight of steps on a sea wall after two incidents of people falling down them.

People living at Felixstowe Ferry have been waiting seven months for the wooden steps to be repaired – and fear someone could suffer a serious injury unless action is taken soon.

Graham Martin, communications officer for the fishing hamlet's residents' association, said problems with the steps first came to light in March when a man in his 80s walking his springer spaniel slipped and fell.

He said: "I took him into my house and gave him a cup of tea and made sure he wasn't injured, but he was very badly shaken up.

"When I inspected the steps I could see why he had fallen – the top step was broken completely away."

Mr Martin of Harbour Villas contacted Suffolk Coastal council over the state of the flight, which leads from the sea wall to the rear of the Victoria pub car park.

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At the end of April, the council inspected the steps, and in June said it believed it had found out who should repair them, but still nothing has been done.

Last week a mum and a small child slipped and tumbled from the sea wall.

Mr Martin said: "She was crying and very badly upset by what happened. She was pushing a buggy but luckily her child was not in it at the time.

"These steps are really dangerous and it has become a big safety concern – everyone here just wants to see something done about them as soon as possible."

After advice from councillor Chris Slemmings, who has also been pressing for action, residents decided to rope off the steps.

A Suffolk Coastal council spokesman said the authority was attempting to use its health and safety powers to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

He said: "Detailed and quite lengthy investigations were required to identify who is responsible for the steps. We have discovered that, according to Land Registry records, they are officially within the boundary of the Victoria Inn.

"The pub is owned by a Leicestershire-based company which did in the summer tell us they would carry out the work.

"However, this work was not done as the company then believed that the steps did belong to someone else. The company has told us they are in discussions with the Environment Agency to see if the steps belong to them or not.

"We have warned the company that our investigations do show that they are responsible, and that we are ready to take enforcement action against them under health and safety legislation if they do not carry out the work."

No-one from the Leicestershire company was available to comment today.

n. Have you fallen down the steps? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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