Car park top levels to shut after latest Accrington Arndale tragedy

Car park top levels to shut after latest Accrington Arndale tragedy

The Arndale Centre

Lauren Johnson fell to her death from the top of the Arndale Centre’s car park

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

THE owners of Accrington Arndale Centre have announced plans to temporarily close the upper levels of its car park while a safety review is carried out.

There have been five deaths in five years at the centre, in Union Street, with the latest being 17-year-old Lauren Johnson, who fell to her death on Thursday June 5.

A statement released by Lee Baron Chartered Surveyors on behalf of the Jesta Group said: “The centre owners are conducting an immediate review of the security at the Arndale Centre in Accrington car park, following the tragic fatality on June 5.

“As a temporary measure ahead of reviewing the safety of the centre generally, David Berman, director of Jesta Capital Corporation, has asked specialist contractors to advise on the closure of the lifts and the access ramps to the top decks in the car park.

“Although our immediate concern is to implement a temporary closure of the upper decks, we have arranged a meeting on July 3 to consult with appropriate advisers, the police, senior representatives from the Samaritans and the local authority, and will give regular updates once we have taken professional advice on car park safety.”

Campaigner Sarah Clitheroe, who led renewed calls for the centre to be ‘made safe or knocked down’, said the announcement would not affect plans for a protest march on Saturday.

She said: “It’s better than nothing – for now – but it won’t affect the march because it’s only a temporary measure. I’m happier, but the march will still go ahead because we want a long term solution and we want to raise awareness of Lauren’s charity, Lauren’s Place.

“Thank you to the Arndale Centre for acting. Let’s hope it closes forever.”

Burnley-born Lauren, who lived in Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle, was laid to rest at an emotional service on Friday.

The march will begin at 11am outside the town hall. It will go through the town and end at the back of the Arndale Centre.

Comments (7)

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11:25am Thu 19 Jun 14

JoniGarratty says...

5 Years to late if you ask me but at least they have done something now.
5 Years to late if you ask me but at least they have done something now. JoniGarratty
  • Score: -11

4:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

gillbacup says...

What happens to the people who work in the shops of the Arndale if it closes ? Yes something MUST be done and soon about the safety but knocking it down will not solve this problem. Make it safe make sure no one can access the top floor. However if someone is determined to end their life they will do. RIP to the poor tortured soul of Lauran xxx
What happens to the people who work in the shops of the Arndale if it closes ? Yes something MUST be done and soon about the safety but knocking it down will not solve this problem. Make it safe make sure no one can access the top floor. However if someone is determined to end their life they will do. RIP to the poor tortured soul of Lauran xxx gillbacup
  • Score: 12

9:24pm Thu 19 Jun 14

katypri says...

Sadly people will always find somewhere, need more help for the people not close something down because it is high, do we ban trains because people are killed on tracks or motorway bridges, very sad for all involved
Sadly people will always find somewhere, need more help for the people not close something down because it is high, do we ban trains because people are killed on tracks or motorway bridges, very sad for all involved katypri
  • Score: 11

10:42pm Thu 19 Jun 14

POW WOW says...

Will they be closing Accrington railway station next?
Will they be closing Accrington railway station next? POW WOW
  • Score: 7

12:01am Fri 20 Jun 14

mys says...

The security need to do more than they do,my friend and I saw 2 girls on the top last week,they were leaning over,we went and told the security guard and the response we got was,kids mess about up there and it's a sunny day there proberly sunbathing ,needless to say we were disgusted in the comment and went straight to the police station and reported them,the police went straight away blue lights the lot,them girls might or might not have been messing but for gods sake these security guards need sacking because they didn't give a t--s,and I for one will be going to the meeting on Sunday with regards to the place being made safer.
The security need to do more than they do,my friend and I saw 2 girls on the top last week,they were leaning over,we went and told the security guard and the response we got was,kids mess about up there and it's a sunny day there proberly sunbathing ,needless to say we were disgusted in the comment and went straight to the police station and reported them,the police went straight away blue lights the lot,them girls might or might not have been messing but for gods sake these security guards need sacking because they didn't give a t--s,and I for one will be going to the meeting on Sunday with regards to the place being made safer. mys
  • Score: 5

1:20pm Fri 20 Jun 14

vicn1956 says...

So sad and I feel for the relatives and witnesses.
I used to enjoy going to the top and looking around and watching trains.
Sadly if you knock it down people with suicidal intentions and determination will find a high spot somewhere else. Or find a canal or lodge, motorway bridge or railway. Can we fence them all in and prevent access? Is there a solution?
So sad and I feel for the relatives and witnesses. I used to enjoy going to the top and looking around and watching trains. Sadly if you knock it down people with suicidal intentions and determination will find a high spot somewhere else. Or find a canal or lodge, motorway bridge or railway. Can we fence them all in and prevent access? Is there a solution? vicn1956
  • Score: 3

11:16pm Sat 21 Jun 14

doggydog says...

“Thank you to the Arndale Centre for acting. Let’s hope it closes forever.”

So ya dont shop there then? Although tragic, shutting it will not solve anything!
“Thank you to the Arndale Centre for acting. Let’s hope it closes forever.” So ya dont shop there then? Although tragic, shutting it will not solve anything! doggydog
  • Score: 2

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