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Youths risk life and limb with jumps from bridge in Claypole during hot weather

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Youths are risking life and limb by jumping into a shallow river and hurling abuse at those who suggest it's a bad idea.

Children aged from six reaching to 17 and 18 year olds are leaping from the road bridge into the River Witham near Gretton Close, Claypole, of an evening and at weekends to cool off in balmy temperatures.

The river level is low and residents fear that a child could be seriously injured if the practice isn't halted without delay.

Claypole Bridge
Claypole Bridge

There can sometimes be 30 or more making the perilous jump from the railings into the water below,

One villager, who is in his seventies, said the danger wasn't just confined to the river itself as the louts were running across the road, the main road into Claypole, to make their jumps, and had had several near misses with vehicles.

The resident said: "It started earlier this year when the weather got warmer, but as summer arrived in earnest we've become inundated with kids from the age of six to 17 or 18, sometimes as many as 30 at any one time.

Claypole Bridge
Claypole Bridge

"The bridge over the Witham is difficult because it bends over the river and quite shallow with one deeper trench beneath.

"These kids are also disrupting traffic. The language is foul and they're abusive to residents and motorists.

"It's a dangerous situation, totally a dangerous situation. We don't want anyone injured, or worse, but it will happen. Somebody will be crippled or will drown because they have misjudged their jump or they'll be hit by a car.

Claypole Bridge
Claypole Bridge

"We know some of them are local, and the parish council has been informed, but some come from Balderton or Newark. We know this because they order taxis to take them home.

"The police have been informed too and have sent a PCSO down and one of the kids was gobby to them so had a dressing down.

Claypole Bridge
Claypole Bridge

"Nothing seems to deter them though. They're very rude to us. My wife was left very upset after she was called some terrible swear words.

"The only long term solution as I see it is to re-engineer the bridge, but that would be costly."

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