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New safety railings around Newbury canals after drowning of 3-year-old boy



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The Canal and River Trust, which manages waterways in West Berkshire and nationwide, has installed new safety railings along the Kennet and Avon Canal in Newbury.

This follows the tragic death of three-year-old Dylan Milsom, who drowned in the canal in March.

A petition demanding more safety measures was launched in the aftermath of the incident, and attracted thousands of signatures.

Canal and River Trust's Mark Evans and Shaun Swain, Laura Farris MP and Dean Adlem (Canal & River Trust) inspect the new railings at Newbury on June 2.
Canal and River Trust's Mark Evans and Shaun Swain, Laura Farris MP and Dean Adlem (Canal & River Trust) inspect the new railings at Newbury on June 2.

Newbury MP Laura Farris was among the most prominent backers of the campaign, and has been working with the trust to ensure greater safeguarding.

Mrs Farris MP said: "I am pleased that the Canal and River Trust have acted so swiftly and been so responsive to community concerns after the tragic accident in March.

"I really appreciated having the opportunity to talk to Mark about next steps including warning signs and buoyancy aids and will continue to work with him to improve safety on this stretch of the canal.

"We owe this to Dylan's family."

The Canal and River Trust's director for the region, Mark Evans, emphasised that the extension was a direct response to concerns raised by the public.

Mr Evans said: "The extension to the railings is in response to wishes of the community and part of a programme to make the waterside in Newbury as safe and attractive as possible.

"We are working alongside the West Berkshire Water Safety Partnership, which will be installing throw lines along the canal, and on an education programme to raise awareness of water safety amongst local children."



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