Bollards stop mum using park

A mother with mobility problems has been forced to stop using a community play area after bollards were put up preventing her from parking close enough.

A mother with mobility problems has been forced to stop using a community play area after bollards were put up preventing her from parking close enough.

Up until a few weeks ago Jannine Coleman regularly took her four-year-old son and 12-year-old stepson to play at the Castle Park play area in Thetford, but the erection of bollards now prevents her from parking alongside the play area.

Mrs Coleman, 38, who also has a 14-year-old stepson, suffers with multiple sclerosis which means she struggles to walk long distances and can feel exhausted with a moments notice.

This means she and her children have been unable to use the park as she cannot walk the distance from the pre-existing disabled bays, and does not walk fast enough to cross the road with two young children.

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Breckland Council has since said the bollards were erected to protect the grass verge which would prevent soil from slipping into the drains.

“I can be fine one minute and the next it hits you like a steam train,” Mrs Coleman said. “It makes you so tired you can't do anything and if I had to walk from the disabled bays we wouldn't be able to drive home because I wouldn't have the energy.

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“My legs also get very wobbly and you can hit the deck just like that. I appreciate what the council is saying but alternative parking should have been put in place before now.”

Mrs Coleman, who lives with her husband, Pete, 44, a postman, in Sybil Wheeler Close, Thetford, was diagnosed with the neurological condition four years ago, after losing the sight in her left eye, although it partially returned, and experienced pain throughout her body.

Although symptoms vary from person to person, Mrs Coleman has difficulty walking for long periods of time and carrying out basic daily tasks because of her extreme tiredness. She also has less dexterity in her fingers and less strength in her toes.

Mrs Coleman added: “I feel like my body is failing me sometimes but I have my kids and I do what I can with them. Without them I wouldn't go out without a car because it's difficult to go out by myself because you don't know how you're going to feel at any time.”

A spokesman for Breckland Council said: “Although Castle Park is an area which Thetford Town Council has responsibility for, the drains in Castle Lane were being blocked by silt and causing flooding problems to residents in the area.

“The source of silt had been identified as the soil of Castle Park where the cars parking has worn the grass away and left bare soil which during periods of rain migrated to the road.

“Breckland were required to take action to prevent further problems and bollarding was thought the most cost effective option.

“We have been in correspondence with Mrs Coleman and have apologised for any inconvenience this has caused.”

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