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Graham Bullough  
#41 Posted : 29 June 2012 14:23:30(UTC)
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Graham Bullough

As an aside to the main topic of this thread here are some comments about highly popular frequently visited natural features such as Striding Edge in the Lake District: If Striding Edge and the short but narrow and very exposed section of Sharp edge on Blencathra a few miles away (where numerous fatal falls have occurred over the years) were in continental Europe, their significantly exposed parts would tend to be fitted with permanent chains or wire ropes for people to hold (or use with harnesses) for security against falls. However, there is a strong culture against such features in the UK on the grounds that they despoil such locations and that walkers/climbers should take adequate care and precautions themselves without relying on fixed safety features.

Also some British mountaineers resent the presence of small marker cairns on mountain footpaths (and even any cairns anywhere) as man-made intrusions, while a few are known to express their view by demolishing cairns. Debates about 1) cairns/other navigational features and 2) suggestions about introducing fall protection features at highly visited locations with unprotected drops in British mountains arouse strong opposing views each with persuasive supporting reasons.
#42 Posted : 30 June 2012 09:00:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user


I will agree that each location needs to be judged on its own particular set of circumstances and risks. Many have introduced other scenarios such as hillside paths, coastal areas, etc, these are not particularly relevant to this case. What is relevant are facts like - was the fall an obvious hazard which could easily have been avoided? Are the infirm and young children exposed to such a risk? Would it have been possible to erect discrete edge protection without spoiling the ambience?
peter gotch  
#43 Posted : 01 July 2012 13:24:00(UTC)
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peter gotch

#18. Walker, yes a civil case. I made page 3 of the Daily Record who needless to say misquoted my evidence. Case adjourned for three months, by which time other things were more interesting to the Record and by which time the Sheriff possibly couldn't read his notes, so judgment also misquotes my evidence!


Given history of accidents at this location, I thought that may be comment by Lord Hutton in Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council might apply.

“ there might be exceptional cases where the principle stated in Stevenson and Taylor should not apply and where a claimant might be able to establish that the risk arising from some natural feature on the land was such that the occupier might reasonably be expected to offer him some protection against it, for example, where there was a very narrow and slippery path with a camber beside the edge of a cliff from which a number of persons had fallen. “

Stevenson v Glasgow Corporation 1908 S.C. 1034 - fell into River Clyde

Taylor v Glasgow Corporation 1922 S.C. (H.L.) 1

Duff v East Dunbartonshire Council and Others 1999 - drowned in reservoir.

General principle no need to protect against obvious hazard whether natural or similar to natural.

Hastie v Magistrates of Edinburgh 1907 - drowned in pond in park.
Graham Bullough  
#44 Posted : 01 July 2012 14:08:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Graham Bullough

Rather than straying off topic it appears that those of us who have mentioned other locations with a risk of serious or fatal injury through falls from height were dealing with the questions posed by dsb at the end of his original posting and thus putting the Warwick Castle cirucmstances in a wider context.

Forum users who have looked through the VSCG document quoted at #28 and seen the photo of part of the York City Walls walkway may well have wondered about the following aspects regarding sections which have open edges above significant vertical drops:

Have there been any incidents over the years involving such edges?

If so, did any of them result in death or significant injury? Furthermore, did any of them lead to any prosecution of and/or claim against the owner of the Walls (most likely the city council)?

Now for the crux question: If there have been no prosecutions or claims to date, would the situation change drastically if a serious or fatal injury were to occur through a fall from an unprotected edge in the future? This is what seems to have happened regarding the low parapets of the bridge at Warwick Castle which reportedly had over 20 million visitors without any incidents during the years from 1978 until 2007 when the fatal fall occurred.

Also, does anyone know the views of any primary and secondary schools which take pupil groups to York? Do they avoid the Walls walk altogether, or just the sections which have unprotected drops - or do they do the whole walk and, importantly, ensure that 1) pupils are suitably briefed beforehand and 2) closely supervised along the sections with open drops?

I’d better add that the above points are not intended as criticism or otherwise of the organisation and its staff with responsibility for the York Walls. It’s just that the Walls are very well known and visited by many people. Other towns and cities with historic accessible walls might also have similar sections with little or nothing to prevent people falling from them.
Stuart Smiles  
#45 Posted : 01 July 2012 16:49:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Stuart Smiles

in relation to edge protection...

thinking of a similar/alternative situation,

another option could be to paint a yellow line and "mind the gap" on it.

what is the risk assessment for train platforms or the underground, where people are injured on a regular basis?

how does national trust deal with it at their sites?

as a similar thing to york, there is also hadrian's wall, without edge protecton.

alternatively, perhaps could have an inner cordon along the bridge as a "vip" thing along the bridge fulfil the requirements without damaging the structure?

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