Mum calls for safer underpasses

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North Lanarkshire Council is facing calls for action after a child was seriously hurt falling off an underpass in Carbrain.

At around 7pm on Sunday, July 12, five-year-old Dylan Rennie broke both arms and fractured his skull in a fall when he was climbing on the entrance to the tunnel passing beneath Carbrain Ring Road, from Craigieburn Road to the area between the health centre and the college campus.

Mum Stephanie O’Hare said: “Dylan has broken both arms and his head injuries are being investigated as it is possible he may develop long term learning or behavioural difficulties.

“He ran off to play with his friends and was out of sight for a couple of minutes when this happened. ‘Guilt’ isn’t even a strong enough word for what I’m feeling right now.

“But this would never have happened if the underpass didn’t look to a child as if it were there to be climbed on.”

The family have now set up an online petition calling for the council to work on making the underpass less accessible to children. This has attracted more than 500 signatures in just a few days.

Dylan’s aunt Lynn Abercrombie founded the petition.

Her opening statement reads: “We want to prevent this happening to another child. “As a family we are so proud of Dylan but he is a very lucky boy and worry that another child may not be as lucky.

“We want the council to make this safe and to stop kids climbing.”

One of the signatories, Lynn McPhail, said: “I have to tell my son not to climb this every day.

“It’s such a temptation to kids, I used to climb it myself when I was little and get the same lecture from my mum.

“It’s slippery and dangerous and its about time something is done about it.”

Another comment on the petition is from John McCluskey.

He said: “Being a bus driver in Cumbernauld the place is full of these nasty hazards that I see on a daily basis so it’s no surprise that this had happened to this poor wee guy.”

Alex Ramsay at the council’s roads department said: “We are sorry to hear about Dylan’s accident and hope he’s doing well.

“There are a number of this type of underpass throughout Cumbernauld and they are fenced off at the highest point to prevent falls from above. In response to the concerns raised by this incident, our structural engineers have visited the site to assess the situation.

“In our view, the steep sides and cobbled surfacing at the entrance is designed to deter people from climbing there and there have been no other reported accidents at these locations. We regularly inspect and maintain the underpasses to ensure pedestrian safety but, at this time, we have no plans to install additional fencing.”

The online petition founded by Lynn Abercrombie can be found at ipetitions.com/petition/please-sign-make-cumbernauld-safe.