Suffolk: Villagers’ bid to protect Kersey’s beautiful splash from “obtrusive” warning signs
VILLAGERS are rallying to protect one of Suffolk’s most beautiful views against the threat of “obtrusive” warning signs.
The medieval village of Kersey was mentioned by Shakespeare in his writings and the water splash which runs across its main street is one of the county’s most documented scenes.
But following a number of incidents involving cyclists on organised events passing through Kersey, the West Suffolk Wheelers & Triathlon Club has asked for signs to be erected, warning of the splash’s “slippery” surface.
Parish council chairman Andrew Cumming said while they were sympathetic to cyclists who had been injured, the splash was a “naturally occurring hazard” and people needed to take care when passing through it.
According to county council chairman and Kersey resident Jeremy Pembroke, villagers do not want “unnecessary signs” spoiling the historic view.
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He said: “This is a centuries-old water splash and everyone knows water splashes have a slippery bottom. Anyone cycling through one has to use common sense and take an element of personal responsibility. Should it really be necessary to install signs saying ‘beware of the water splash’?”
Mr Pembroke added there were ways for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the hazard, adding: “There is a perfectly adequate footbridge where people can get off their bikes and walk across if they don’t want to go through the splash.
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“Why put signs in the middle of what is one of the oldest villages in the county, which would undoubtedly spoil what has to be one of the most beautiful views in Suffolk – if not England?” Mr Cumming said a letter from the cycling club had been discussed in great detail at a recent village meeting and the matter had now been referred to the county highways department.
Although the county council was unable to comment specifically on Kersey, a spokesperson said: “We would hope cyclists would use their common sense and appreciate that the surface of fords will be slippery when wet and possibly uneven. Our advice to cyclists for all fords is to dismount, and use the footbridge where provided.”
The cycling club told the parish council that one cyclist was badly injured and required emergency treatment by paramedics, and hospitalisation for a broken pelvis and hip.
Yesterday, no-one from the club was available to comment.