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Specific date/inspection information relating to Council-maintained car park (MK41 0PW)

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Dear Ann (Bullock),

This question is related to my ongoing request, “Liability for hazardous cavity left by uprooted tree in the middle of a Council-maintained car park (MK41 0PW)” submitted on 19 December 2018.

As you suggested, I am making an additional request asking for more specific supporting information before resuming my quest for a clear response to my original question.

Please can you let me know:

a) The date that inspection records recorded that the tree in the Goldington Square car park had been badly damaged by a vehicle.

b) The date that the damaged tree was removed.

c) The date that the Council noticed that a portion of the soil had been removed, leaving a discernible dip.

d) The reason why the Council believes that a third party removed the soil, rather than this being a natural, eventual result of the tree removal.

e) The date that the damaged car park feature was classed as a hazard to pedestrians.

f) The date that this was recorded on the fortnightly inspection report.

g) The nature of the perceived risk to pedestrians.

h) Was the risk to pedestrians caused by the dip in the soil or something else (if so, what)?

i) The reason why it was not considered a hazard to motorists.

j) Which points (if any) included in the inspection reports relate to checking whether there are any hidden hazards to motorists?

k) The date that the first warning cone was placed.

l) How many times the cones were replaced before it was decided to stop replacing them.

m) The date the decision was taken to discontinue replacing the hazard warning cones, because they were being removed by “persons unknown”.

n) Was the “Tree missing from the tree pit” reported on 29/6/17 or on 13/7/17 the same one that left the hidden cavity which caused my car to become trapped on 07/07/18 and another car to become trapped on 06/08/18?

o) If so, why was the hazard allowed to persist (unrecorded) for an entire year? If not, where is the report of the removal of the tree which led to the above two vehicle accidents?

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Peachey

Freedom of Information, Bedford Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We will proceed with the request which we received today. It is our
intention to have the information delivered to you as soon as possible
otherwise within the statutory 20 working days.

 

In consideration of the request, which may be subject to any exemptions/
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Please note that should you be requesting information under the
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information.  If applicable, we will issue you with a fee notice.  This
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References

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3. mailto:[Bedford Borough Council request email]

Andrea Bechtle, Bedford Borough Council

1 Attachment

Bedford BC - OFFICIAL-Unsecure

 

Dear Greg Peachey,

 

 

Request pursuant to Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request No. FOI
14017

 

I refer to your recent enquiry for information held by the Council. 

 

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the authority must
state whether or not the information exists and I confirm that we do hold
the information you requested.

 

Please find your request below and a response.

 

a) The date that inspection records recorded that the tree in the
Goldington Square car park had been badly damaged by a vehicle.

Exact date unknown – not recorded on inspection sheet

 

b)            The date that the damaged tree was removed.

Exact date unknown.

 

c)            The date that the Council noticed that a portion of the soil
had been removed, leaving a discernible dip.

This was not recorded on the inspection so we don’t have an exact date.
When the dip was noticed a cone was placed in the dip. Third parties kept
removing the cone so we kept replacing it.

 

d)            The reason why the Council believes that a third party
removed the soil, rather than this being a natural, eventual result of the
tree removal.

When the tree was damaged and removed there was no discernible dip. We did
not expect the soil to be removed by a third party or as a result of the
tree removal because the area is fully enclosed by kerbstones.

 

e)            The date that the damaged car park feature was classed as a
hazard to pedestrians.

The same day the cone was placed in the gap which was not recorded on the
inspection sheet and done during another site inspection.

 

f)             The date that this was recorded on the fortnightly
inspection report.

See answer to E.

 

g)            The nature of the perceived risk to pedestrians.

Even though the area is surrounded by a kerb, a dip or cavity, if a
pedestrian is not looking where they are going it could be a potential
hazard.

 

h)            Was the risk to pedestrians caused by the dip in the soil or
something else (if so, what)? 

As previously advised, when the tree was initially removed there was
sufficient soil.  Some of this soil was later removed by persons unknown
that was when a cone was placed to mitigate against a pedestrian tripping
before a new tree was planted.

 

i) The reason why it was not considered a hazard to motorists.

As per Zurich’s report the kerb is visible to motorist when pulling into
the parking spaces next to the tree.

 

j)             Which points (if any) included in the inspection reports
relate to checking whether there are any hidden hazards to motorists?

The inspection report is a general look at all aspects of the estate,
‘hidden hazards’ is not something specifically on the sheet however.

 

k)            The date that the first warning cone was placed.

Date unknown

 

l)             How many times the cones were replaced before it was
decided to stop replacing them.

This information was not recorded, the decision to stop replacing them was
after the incident with your car.

 

m)          The date the decision was taken to discontinue replacing the
hazard warning cones, because they were being removed by “persons
unknown”. 

Cones were to remain in place until the new tree was planted. When your
incident was reported to the Estates department a wooden pole was ordered
immediately to mitigate against any future incidence of a similar nature.

 

n)            Was the “Tree missing from the tree pit” reported on 29/6/17
or on 13/7/17 the same one that left the hidden cavity which caused my car
to become trapped on 07/07/18 and another car to become trapped on
06/08/18? 

The tree reported on the 29/6/17 and 13/7/17 is a different tree, this was
damaged and subsequently replaced. This particular tree was a young
specimen so could have easily been blown over by the wind and not struck
by a motorist.

 

o)            If so, why was the hazard allowed to persist (unrecorded)
for an entire year? If not, where is the report of the removal of the tree
which led to the above two vehicle accidents?

Your insurance claim was the first incident reported to us. We do not have
a report of removal of the tree, we do have invoice for replanting the
tree which can be supplied if requested.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
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dealing with complaints about the determination of this request for
information is the Council’s FOI Complaints Procedure, a copy of which can
be obtained on request or is set out at: 
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Yours sincerely

 

Liz Verby on behalf of

Andrea Bechtle

FOI & EIR Officer - Environment & Enabling Services

Bedford Borough Council

Room 336, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK429AP

(01234) 718243 (ext 47243)
‘Bedford Borough Council - Working with our partners to make the borough a
better place to live, work and visit.’

 

 

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