£200,000 safety fence for canal

Published: Friday, 01 May 2009

BECAUSE Wayne Bonner fell into the Rochdale Canal in Manchester's Gay Village, £200,000 is to be spent on a 3ft 6in high post and rail fence even though there is already an existing wall protecting the canal.

The fence, which will run the length of the exposed canal on the street, will be erected to prevent people scrambling over the wall and falling into the water by the many bars and drinking clubs.

The problem is that drinkers sit on the wall, so reinforced glass panels will fill the `gap' between the rail and the wall, to prevent drinkers from sitting on the wall and dangling their legs under the rail.

The application will go to the planning committee later this summer, and it is expected that construction could then begin immediately.

The rail-and-post fence will cost around £102,060, plus installation costs, with the glass panels costing a further £97,200.

This is the fourth death by drowning that the present coroner has presided over, and was so concerned that he contacted the city council and British Waterways.

Volunteer bar staff have also been trained to throw rescue ropes into the canal to drinkers who have fallen in.