Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Message from Wetherby Town Council
During a routine inspection on 31st May we became aware that the swing frames at Nidd Approach had movement in them and the foundations were no longer secure.
Works have been carried out at Scaur Bank playground this week and so we asked the technicians to look at the swings at Nidd Approach whilst they were in Wetherby.
They have reported to us that “both swings have severe movement within the footings, and I believe that the concrete has failed”.
Our Town Handyman has today carried out some excavation works to try and understand what has happened. He found that the foundations have indeed failed, and the concrete could, in places, be scooped out by hand.
As the foundations are underground there is no way of checking their condition, without excavations, and there was no way of predicting when they would fail. All the Town Council’s play equipment is regularly checked by the Town Handyman who visits each site several times a week and the swings were checked by an external RPII accredited inspector in October 2018, with no concerns raised at that time.
The swing units are very old and it may be that increased use of the site, since the installation of the new equipment, has brought the foundations to the end of their lifespan.
We have completely removed the swings and chains on both sets of swings as they cannot be safely used.
We are going to obtain prices for a new swing unit. As the existing swings are so old it may not be cost effective to repair them; we could put new foundations in, but the frames may then fail. This could be an opportunity to put in a new unit, with a nest swing, inclusive boat seat as well as the traditional flat and cradle swing seats. We will consult with neighbours and children in the area once we have a better understanding of the options and the costs involved.
As with all our sites, the Town Council wants to have the playgrounds open and available for use but only when it is safe to do so. We will work to either repair or replace the swings as quickly as possible.