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Leeds Castle bans wheel-based toys

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A popular family attraction has experienced a huge backlash after banning all wheel-based toys.

Leeds Castle has today announced that from now on any scooters, bikes, Heelys and roller blades will be prohibited from its grounds.

In a post on its Facebook page the historic destination says the decision has been made following concerns about safety.

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Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle

It adds 'Smart Trikes' — three-wheeled vehicles which are pushed along with handles — are still welcome.

Leeds Castle states a number of accidents and near misses have occurred and added children often scoot down the main route towards the castle putting them in conflict with the popular land train.

In the wake of the shock announcement many visitors to the destination, which is home to the popular Southern Segway Day Tours, have branded the decision 'ridiculous'.

Lucy Peaper commented on the post: "Absolutely ridiculous — I for one and many of my friends won't be renewing our passes. How do you expect children who are too old for buggies to happily walk to the play park which is at the furthest point."

The castle announced the decision on its Facebook page
The castle announced the decision on its Facebook page

She added the move may lead to a drop in custom for the 12th Century site.

Ashleigh May added: "This is so ridiculous and unfair. How else are children meant to get around the huge grounds of the castle? And the fun that they have when scooting around the grounds is immeasurable! Clearly, the person who made this decision does not have children."

However, some visitors have welcomed the move, saying children often whiz around the scenic grounds in a dangerous manner without parental supervision.

Anita Hogben posted: "At last somewhere to walk peacefully without uncontrolled children running their scooters, bikes etc into my legs because their parents can't teach them respect for others or how to behave."

A spokesman for Leeds Castle said: "Our roads and pathways are no longer able to cope with the traffic which the toys bring. We have noticed a large increase in incidents and accidents as well as our own staff witnessing near misses.

"We do understand that we are popular with families, and that children will be disappointed not to be able to use their wheel-based toys here any longer, but the safety of all our visitors is paramount and something that we would never compromise.

"We take the point about the distance from the car parks to the playgrounds, but we have found that many children use the main drive to scoot or ride, which puts them in direct line with a very busy land train route. This, we feel, can no longer be allowed to continue as nothing is worth putting a child’s safety at risk in this way. The alternative pathway routes are also unsuitable for the increased traffic throughout the year."

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