When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Official closure of Headley ford being ignored
MOTORISTS are still driving across a notorious ford – despite its official closure.
Headley ford on the Hampshire/Berkshire border claimed the life of mental health tribunal judge Jonathan Gammon on Monday, April 30, this year, when he was a passenger in a car that was swept 200 yards downstream by the River Enborne.
The 52-year-old, from Teddington, Middlesex, died with his dog, but his wife, Priscilla Turner, managed to swim clear.
After the death, Hampshire County Council closed the ford for 18 months because it was considered a “danger to the public”.
But Simon Hiscock, of Common Road, Headley, said he witnessed five cars going through the ford on Tuesday last week. The 48-year-old said: “There were cars going through and they were driving over the plastic barriers and sandbags.
“I cannot understand it – it’s pathetic. The masses are going to spoil it for the few. Some of us would like to drive through it for our business, like farmers.”
He added that two cars had to be pulled out of the ford the previous week.
The county council is currently consulting on whether the ford should be permanently closed to traffic.
In a statement, the authority said it was aware of reports of people crossing the ford and would be installing “more robust barriers” to deter them.
The statement added: “Although the local highways team inspect the barriers at the ford regularly, they cannot monitor them 24 hours a day.”
It added: “We would ask motorists to observe the closure of the ford until the assessment and consultation are completed, and a way forward has been determined.”
An inquest into Mr Gammon’s death will take place on Tuesday, at Alton Magistrates’ Court.