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Safety work delay at site where Alfie Jones died 'a blow' to dad's health

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

  • TRAGIC LOSS: Four-year-old Alfie Jones died last May

  • Nigel Jones pictured with family friend Morgan Jewell aged 11 and his son Adam Jones, aged eight, on the bridge in Huish Episcopi where Alfie Jones died

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A grieving father says delays in safety work at the site where his son died is harming his mental health.

Nigel Jones’ four-year-old son Alfie died when he was in collision with a bus after running onto Field Road in Huish Episcopi from Station Path last May.

More than a year later Mr Jones is still waiting for safety work to be carried out there by Somerset County Council.

The Jones family were originally told proposed works to realign Station Path, creating better access and visibility, would have started by the end of April.

But work was delayed as the council waited for land to become available for the work to be carried out.

Then the bird nesting season meant the work was rescheduled for September, then again to October.

But with no sign of work starting this month, Mr Jones says he has been left frustrated by the lack of progress on the project, which will cost in the region of £50,000.

Mr Jones, who has received counselling since his son’s death, said: “It has just gone on and on and on. I wasn't expecting much but then they started promising it would be done by September, then October, now it is November and nothing has happened. That’s eight weeks behind.

“It’s not doing my health any good. I am still seeing a psychiatrist for post-traumatic stress and from a medical point of view all this waiting isn't improving my symptoms.

“They keep promising our family and they haven't delivered.”

A Somerset County Council spokesman said on Tuesday: “The budget, works plan and contractor needed to complete the improvements to Field Road are ready. We hope that this week the necessary land will become available for the safety improvements that are planned. The realignment of the existing footway will enable us to widen the footpath that runs along the A372, and provide a pedestrian barrier.

“A barrier could not be provided without this widening as this would have constrained the width of the footpath along the A372, causing safety concerns if pedestrians were walking in the road to avoid it.”

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