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Health And Safety Police Rap Dad's Knuckles...For Making His Children's Walk To School Safer

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Health 'n safety police rap dad's knuckles...for making his children's walk to school safer

A dad who worked his backside off to make his children's walk to school safer has had his knuckles rapped by the health and safety police.

Father-of-four Charlie Howard spent three weekends building a set of steps down a muddy embankment to keep his kids off a busy road.

But he has now been ordered to demolish his efforts – for safety reasons!

Without the steps, the children have to scramble down the slippery bank or cross the road at a bend further along the road and walk 100 yards with no pavement to reach the bus stop.

So Charlie went to work to try to eradicate the danger, taking his nine-year-old son Tommy with him to help build the steps.

But two weeks later he received a letter from Magna Housing Association which owns the embankment in Bridport, Dorset.

He was told that should anyone fall and hurt themselves while using the steps the association would be liable for any litigation.

Charlie, who also has a seven-year-old son and two daughters aged six and four, has taken the steps down but described the authority's reaction as 'ridiculous' because it has made the children's journey to Salway Ash primary school more hazardous.

The 37-year-old, who owns a vehicle restoration company, told his local paper: "I only spent about £10 doing it because a lot of the materials I had left over from work.

"It was much safer than what was there before. The school bus stops directly opposite the steps, so the children and my wife just have to walk down the steps and cross the road at a straight point."

He said the children now have to slide down the bank or 'walk about 100 yards down a road with no pavement, cross the road on a junction and walk back against traffic'.

Charlie added: "I have reluctantly taken them down now but it is a ridiculous thing to have to do – now they are far more dangerous."

Bob Roberts, of Magna Housing Association, said: "The steps are on Magna's land and if anyone were to be injured we may be liable. We cannot risk this and this is why we asked the residents to remove the steps."

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