Derbyshire widow calls for car park barrier ban

Suzanne Williams
Image caption Suzanne Williams said her husband's death in 2007 was "virtually identical" to father-to-be William Page's last year

A widow whose husband was killed by a swinging car park barrier has called for them to be banned after the "identical" death of another man.

Suzanne Williams' husband Brian died in 2007 when a barrier swung into his car.

She contacted MPs after hearing of the case of William Page, who died in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, last year when a barrier smashed on to his windscreen.

An MP told Mrs Williams the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) did not see a need for the barriers to be banned.

Mr Page's inquest heard he was driving out of an industrial estate when a barrier swung into his van. He had not inserted a pin into the barrier to keep it open.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The swing barrier in Ilkeston was similar to this road barrier

The 22-year-old had told his family he was going to be a father the day before the accident.


In 2007, university professor Mr Williams had stepped in for Mrs Williams, who was pregnant with their third child, to help a local girl guides group on a night hike in Darley Dale.

Mrs Williams, from Holloway, said someone else had gone past the car park's swing barrier - which was not fixed in an open position - just before Mr Williams went to drive through.

"It was a windy night...the wind had obviously picked up and he just didn't see it," she said. "It went straight up the bonnet, through the windscreen and impaled him."

The case was never investigated by the HSE due to the accident occurring on private land, according to Mrs Williams.

Mrs Williams contacted Transport Secretary and local MP Patrick McLoughlin, and again after Mr Page's death, but was told through a letter from Local Government Minister Marcus Jones MP in December that the HSE "does not see a need for this type of barrier to be banned".

Image copyright Rachael Cross
Image caption William Page, a car enthusiast, died the day after he announced he was going to be a father

After finding out about Mr Page's death, Mrs Williams, who cited similar deaths in south Wales, Scunthorpe and America, said: "It felt like Brian had died in vain.

"How many deaths is it going to take? There are alternative means of securing car parks.

"They're dangerous and they're killing people."

An HSE spokeswoman said the location of the swing barrier determines who investigates a case.

The watchdog regulates barriers on the likes of construction sites and industrial estates, whereas other locations - such as barriers on supermarket car parks - are the responsibility of the local authority, she added.

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