Playground litigation washes ashore in Britain


Another story about the lamentable spread of American litigiousness, from the Telegraph:

The arrival of the American-style compensation culture is turning open spaces and public parks into dreary, fun-free, soulless places, the Government's architecture and building advisers said yesterday.

Bouncy castles, ancient trees, boating lakes, adventure playgrounds, public art and even firework displays on windy days, such as the celebrations in Edinburgh last New Year, are all victims of the trend to stop or take down anything that might have the slightest risk attached....

Ruth Holmes, of Groundwork, said: "We can't go for as exciting a playground as we'd like - swings and roundabouts and things like that - because they need to be checked and, if there was a danger, they would have to be closed down.

"We are hoping now to have some static stuff, such as a mound-like fort with a slide and some fixed parallel bars."

A council officer said: "We were worried that children could vandalise the equipment and take bolts out. We are trying to get equipment as tamper-proof as possible. We can't risk somebody being hurt."

The trouble with static equipment is that it is extremely boring to play on, said Cabe, and play areas are now being built where children have no wish to play.

I blogged a while ago about the Toronto School District's removal of all playground equipment for safety reasons, and about the joy of finding "dangerous" old-fashioned equipment still in place and in use in Independence, Kansas.

This move away from fun playground equipment must be a boon to the backyard swingset industry.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 30, 2004 1:10 AM.

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