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Lives being put at risk by youths climbing Stratford multi-storey car park

YOUNG people are putting their lives at risk by climbing onto the very top of a Stratford multi-storey car park where one wrong step could result in a 65ft fall.

A concerned resident photographed the latest youngsters to climb onto the top of the area which houses the mechanics for the Windsor Street car park’s lift.

While there was no suggestion the four young men were committing any offences, there was fears for their safety and a plea for parents to ensure their children are not putting their lives at risk.

Chris Wall, whose property adjacent the car park, told the Herald he had seen people on top of the lift area at least three times.

Young men can be seen climbing onto the top of the Windsor Street car park.
Young men can be seen climbing onto the top of the Windsor Street car park.

He contacted Stratford District Council, which operates the car park, after the latest incident in the afternoon last Wednesday (17th May) and moves will be made to make it more difficult to access the area. But he, like many others, would like to see the back of the dilapidated multi-storey.

Chris, who has lived in the house off the Birmingham Road since autumn 2020, told the Herald: “It’s the third time we have seen that [people on the roof]. The police have come out before but they would need to come mob-handed to catch the children as they’re so many exits to the car park.

“They are sitting high up where people walk underneath – tourists getting off coaches and heading to the toilets and people heading to the car park entrance.”

The young men were on the roof for about 15-20 minutes, but Chris said that even if they fell off the roof to the car park side, there was still a drop of about 12-14ft. Falling from the top of the car park to the ground would be terminal, he added.

SDC said its CCTV team would investigate the issue and would be monitoring the car park in case of repeat behaviour.

A spokesperson added: “Our construction services team has also been informed and requested that they assess the situation in regard to putting measures in place on the stairwell roof to prevent further occurrences of this behaviour in the future.”

Young men can be seen climbing onto the top of the Windsor Street car park.
Young men can be seen climbing onto the top of the Windsor Street car park.

They also warned: ”We are really disappointed by the reports that young people are actively scaling this part of Windsor Street car park. We would like to remind youths that this can be extremely dangerous, and you are putting yourselves in real danger. Please think twice. What might seem like harmless fun could lead to serious injury or worse. Do not take that risk.”

The Windsor Street car park has been hampered with issues in the past with people throwing items off the top floor, raves during lockdown and, Chris said, midnight football matches on one of the levels. Drug-taking paraphernalia has also been found in stairwells, he told the Herald.

The car park has suffered from a lack of repairs over the years as SDC, in the long-term, wants to demolish it as part of the Gateway Project. However, there has been no significant movement on the scheme as complicated negotiations continue with other landowners for the Gateway site – a triangle of land between Arden Street, Birmingham Road and Windsor Street. If funding is secured to buy the land – SDC already owns about 45 per cent of the site – then it could open up the way for a development of a World Shakespeare Centre with museum and education facilities, offices, retail and leisure space, and housing.

The new Lib Dem administration at SDC has made it a priority to find out what is happening with the Gateway Project after raising concerns during years in opposition about the deterioration of Windsor Street car park.

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