Just two of 15 canal safety proposals put forward after the death of a student are likely to be approved by Leicester City Council.

Canal safety moves rejected

David Maclean, This Is Leicestershire political correspondent, reports:

Just two of 15 canal safety proposals put forward after the death of a student are likely to be approved by Leicester City Council.

The body of De Montfort University student Phil Dillon, 24, was found in the Grand Union Canal, near Western Boulevard, Leicester, in March.

He had fallen into the canal while walking to his Frog Island home after a night out.

Campaigners set up a Facebook group urging British Waterways and Leicester City Council to improve safety.

The Facebook group has attracted 4,400 members and about 1,000 signatures for a petition, which was handed to the city council in April.

Alongside the signatures were 15 recommendations for schemes which could improve safety along the waterway.

Two recommendations – making mooring rings more visible and the path less uneven – are likely to be accepted. The other 13 look set to be turned down.

Campaign supporter John Cleaver, 42, from Leicester’s West End, said: “I’m disappointed because I use a stretch of the canal a lot when I’m heading into the city centre and I know how dangerous it is.

“So much more needs to be done to make it safer.”

In a report due to go before the council’s scrutiny committee next Thursday, danger signs aimed at youngsters were ruled out as “impractical”.

Among the other recommendations declined was extra lighting along the footpaths, on the grounds that it would provide a “false sense of security” and would affect wildlife.

Installing gates which could be locked at night was also ruled out. The report said: “This is impractical with the number of entrances to the canal and the cost would be prohibitive. In addition, boat users would become trapped in the locked space.”

CCTV cameras aimed at the canal were also declined.

The report said: “There is an element of sensitivity about the use of CCTV by the student population, whose aim is to reduce surveillance.”

Putting railings along the canal near drinking establishments, safety barriers under bridges, extra life rings and buoys in the water were also refused for various reasons.

However, British Waterways (BW) will be asked to make mooring rings more visible as part of their routine maintenance work. The other suggestion was a plan to work with BW to come to an agreement on how to make the path less uneven.

via Just two of 15 canal safety proposals put forward after the death of a student are likely to be approved by Leicester City Council. For full Council report click here.

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