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Love the park but not the fence

Parents, grandparents and children meeting and learning at the new bike skills park. PHOTO/PAM GRAHAM

Rotary says assessment of fencing always planned

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Parents and children love the new Kids Bike Skills Park in Masterton but not the chain and bollard fence.

The park near the roundabout at the northern end of Masterton is getting a thumbs-up from users but they want a better fence.

Two parents, who didn’t want to be named, said the park was a “really cool idea”, but yesterday they watched on as a toddler rushed toward the busy road. Fortunately a fit-looking mother was straight onto the situation and just caught the toddler in time.

The parents said Mayor Lyn Patterson had been at the park the day prior to see how it was bedding in.

They said they would be willing to help fundraise for a better fence and they believed other parents would as well.

There’s been discussion on social media with one camp of people saying it is the responsibility of parents to watch their children, and a park is not a creche.

Meanwhile others are saying the inadequate fencing makes the new child-friendly and educational activity dangerous.

The project was headed by Rotary Club Masterton South and the park is designed to help children to learn how to ride bikes and scooters safely. It’s nestled between the northern traffic roundabout, the Waipoua River and the basketball half court.

Graeme Sawyer from the Rotary club said the idea behind the chain and bollard barrier was that it would stop children on scooters and matched other fencing in the area.

Sawyer said the fencing was always going to be assessed and it would be.

“If it’s not successful we will consider putting in full fencing.”

Vicki Matthews was at the park on Tuesday with grandchildren Jett and Charly Burkhart and they had been chatting about the issue with Tracey Cooper who was there with three children.

Cooper said it was hard work watching three children in different places in the park. “But it’s a fantastic idea.”

Matthews agreed. She said it was a great park, it just needed to be fenced properly. She said the kids split off round the different roads in the park. Because they all weren’t heading in the same direction you had to be vigilant watching on as a parent or grandparent.

The Times-Age reporter was impressed that when she crossed the crossing in the park, the child on the scooter stopped to give way, demonstrating road skills were being learned.

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