Platt’s Bridge at Ardingly Reservoir is about to undergo major work by South East Water to deter people from using it as a jumping and diving platform during the summer months.

The work, agreed with both Wakehurst Place and West Sussex County Council, is scheduled to start on Monday (10 May) and estimated to take four months to complete.

Chris Lunn, Head of Health, Safety and Quality said: “Last year during the hot weather, we again received reports of people using the bridge as a jumping and diving platform – activity due to the shallowness of the reservoir during the summer months is putting lives at risk.”

The work will involve adding anti-climb security fencing projecting far enough out from the walkway and each end of the bridge to make access from the bank impossible. Mesh panels will also be installed over the top of the raised eight foot high handrail. Finally, tree branches at each end of the bridge will be trimmed to stop these being used as a swing onto the bridge.

While the work is underway the company will attempt to keep the bridge open, although when pedestrians approach there may be a slight delay while the workforce make it safe before they are allowed to cross.

Chris added: “Reservoirs may seem like a good place to take a swim to cool down but they have hidden hazards that are not obvious from the bankside. That’s why we only support swimming there as part of an organised event with lifeguards present.”

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