A FORDINGBRIDGE councillor is warning people of the dangers of jumping off the bridge into the River Avon.

Councillor Pete White raised concerns during a meeting of Fordingbridge Town Council’s amenities committee last month and called for warning signs to be put up.

Speaking to the Journal, Cllr White, who recently retired as watch manager at Fordingbridge Fire Station, said: “It is dangerous. It is a far old drop and it is quite shallow.

“People have been badly hurt over the years.”

He says it has been a problem for a number of years and usually happens over the summer.

“We can’t stop people doing it but we can educate,” said Cllr White.

“It is about people being sensible.”

Last week, the town council discussed putting up warning signs during an online meeting held over Zoom.

Councillor Paul Anstey said Cllr White was “absolutely right” to raise the issue.

He added: “Injury to anyone should not be taken lightly and we clearly had concerns of injury both to the tombstoners but also the fact in incidents like this members of the public take part in some sort of rescue so there is their risk. And to bear in mind the complete and utter waste of time of our emergency services.”

However, he questioned whether the town council was obligated to put up a sign as it was a Hampshire County Council road. He felt there was no legal requirement for the town council to put up a sign but understood there were concerns within the council.

“Even if we were to put a sign up, this year at Durdle Door on May 31 there were three serious incidents in one day and within 24 hours the tombstoners were back. Would this sign prevent people from doing it? No. Do we have a legal remit to put a sign up. No,” added Cllr Anstey.

Councillor Malcolm Adams said there was a case in Lyme Regis where action was taken against the council after a person got injured by a wave.

And Councillor Andrew Lewendon said the cost of a sign would be “fairly small” compared to the “possible expenses” the council could incur trying to fight a case.

Councillor Nobby Goldsmith said “sign or no sign people are still going to do it” while Cllr Adams said a sign would point out that there was a danger.

Councillor Diane Paton suggested the town council notify Hampshire County Council about the incidents and councillors’ concerns to see if it would put up a warning sign.