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Call for jet ski ban on River Avon in Stratford

CALLS are being made to ban jet skis on the River Avon in Stratford after reports of craft being driven at speed last week.

The Herald was sent video footage of a jet ski being used on the river behind the Fisherman’s car park, an area where Stratford Town Trust and Stratford District Council are looking to encourage wildlife as part of their riverside corridor project.

The council says it will look at whether signage can be improved by the riverside, but former Stratford mayor Cyril Bennis urged the authority to go further and ban jet skis altogether to protect public safety.

Stratford District Council said it was currently not technically illegal for jet skis to be used on the river, but they must have the correct insurance, certificates and stick to a speed limit of 4-6mph.

Last weekend’s incident is not the first report of jet skis being used on the river. A spokesperson for Stratford District Council said: “Activity on the river is regulated by the Avon Navigation Trust and the district council has liaised with ANT about this incident.

“They have confirmed that a jet ski is a recognised craft on the river, but it must be licensed with ANT and have the relevant insurance and seaworthy certification.

“ANT do not have the powers of arrest, nor do we have a river police force. If a boater or jet ski is conducting themselves in a way as to put public safety at risk, then it is a 999 issue. There is signage at the bathing place setting out these details and the district council is working with ANT to see if this can be improved and will continue to monitor the situation.”

n Concerns were also raised about parking on the verge in Warwick Road on Sunday after the sunny weather saw the Fisherman’s car park at capacity by 9.30am. Some cars were blocking the footpath for pedestrians.

The district council, while not responsible for Warwick Road parking, urged drivers to use the leisure centre.

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