Oh Dear! Somebody really didn’t think these through. Many people will remember with fondness the little yellow train that used to run up and down the Weston pier. It was one of those popular pier institutions that probably didn’t make it through the 2008 fire.
Some brainbox of the year decided to replace this slim line ride with great hulking monster trains. Now the length of the pier has been split into three sections, there simply isn’t enough room for lots of tourists and these trains to run safely.
When Chopsy Baby visited the Grand Pier on 30 June 2011, we were not impressed that a child came within inches of being hit by a train. This child was being well behaved and fully supervised. But, upon seeing a friend of hers walking up the pier, the five-year-old ran out of the middle covered area towards her friend and straight into the path of the oncoming train. It was not her fault. An adult was walking with her. She did not see the train coming and she simply did not expect a bloody great big train to come thundering up the pier towards her. All areas are for pedestrians. There were no warning signs.
The train driver, who had a bit of a fright, did some shouting. And we did some polite responding.
The fault here lies in two places.
Firstly, the trains are too big. When the pier is busy, they can barely get through. They are just dangerous. And there are two of them.
Secondly, the covered centre section has fire escape doors opened all the way up. It was from one of these the child came straight out and into the path of the train. Dangerous.
When we spoke to a representative of the pier – Mike – he said that no accident had happened before. He also told us that the pier could collapse into the sea at any moment. We asked him to repeat this point and he did. The pier could collapse into the sea at any point. He did order that the fire doors should be closed all the way through the covered section and this was done straight away. He stressed that children should be supervised at all times. Ours were more than supervised, us being typical examples of health and safety ‘helicopter’ parents.
As we were about to leave the Grand Pier – Which we will not be going back to – we watched as a mother with a baby in a pram almost walked into the path of the train, again an accident. Perhaps she should have been supervised.