Teen’s serious injuries spark town interchange safety fears

Temporary warning signs were erected at the plaza immediately after the accident.
Temporary warning signs were erected at the plaza immediately after the accident.

A TEENAGER needed reconstructive surgery after injuring himself playing on the newly opened sculptures outside Skegness Railway Station, which his mother has described as an accident waiting to happen.

Bradley Richardson, 14, was riding a bike on the wave-like sculptures which form part of the £750,000 station improvements, when he fell and hit his head on Friday night.

Bradley Richardson, 14, was left with nasty facial injuries following the accident.

Bradley Richardson, 14, was left with nasty facial injuries following the accident.

His mother Diane was at home in Leeds at the time of the accident and was ‘absolutely devastated’ to be told the news by a family friend.

She said: “Bradley was staying with his sister in Skegness for the school holidays and when I heard he had injured himself I was absolutely devastated.

“When I came to look at the station I was shocked - it looks just like an adventure playground, it’s an invitation for children to play on.

“My son is 14-years-old and he’s just like every other boy his age, he was silly to be playing on it but boys will be boys.

“I’m disgusted with whoever designed it, a nurse at Skegness Hospital said she had been expecting someone to injure themselves on it - it was an accident waiting to happen.

“My son will need a metal plate fitting to his cheek and he looks terrible, I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

One of the fathers of Bradley’s friends called the ambulance to take him to hospital but the injured boy was left lying on the floor in shock for so long that his sister grew tired of waiting and took him to Skegness Hospital herself.

Doctors said that he would need to travel to Boston Pilgrim for an X-ray but there was another four hour wait until an ambulance could transfer him.

When he eventually had his scan it revealed a fractured cheek bone that would require a metal plate to be fitted.

Diane is appalled that such a treacherous structure would be built in a public area and is considering legal action.

It is not the first time the costly station improvements carried out by Lincolnshire County Council, Network Rail and East Midlands Trains have come under fire.

Coun John Byford opposed the works which included the destruction of the Station Master’s House - a historic building he had campaigned to save as a Skegness Civic Society member.

Having been told there was insufficient funding to restore the dilapidated old building he was surprised to hear that £750,000 was available for the landscaping works.

Although appreciative of the investment to make the station more attractive, he has heard numerous disparaging comments comparing the other castle shaped structure to a urinal.

Now that the wave-like sculptures have resulted in the injury of a teenage boy he has renewed his criticism of the scheme.

“Has it been designed by muppets?” he asked.

“The sculptures are crying out to be abused and I don’t blame the kids at all - for something located so centrally they should have thought about the design a bit more.”

The area was taped off and warning signs displayed after the accident to prevent repeat occurences while a more permanent solution is considered.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Trains said: “Our immediate thoughts are with the boy who has been injured, and we wish him all the best for a quick recovery.

“East Midlands Trains has worked in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and Network Rail to develop a new and welcoming station plaza for Skegness, with a design that reflects the local area. It is disappointing that some people are misusing the new space and sculptures. We will work with Lincolnshire County Council and Network Rail opportunities to prevent misuse of the plaza.”