ANGRY people living near Worcester’s popular Splashpad are blaming cyclists for damaging the surface – and have warned them to stay away.

Gheluvelt Park Friends, a community group which keeps a watch on the facility, says riders are ignoring the signs asking them not to cycle.

The outdoor water play facility, one of Worcester’s best known attractions, was closed for four days last month for emergency repair work.

The surface had been damaged by what city council chiefs called “wear and tear”, resulting in scores of disappointed families.

Dr Allan Barnatt, chairman of the friends group, said: “The reason for closure was repair of surface damage almost certainly caused by a cycle.

“Signs posted at either end of the Splashpad clearly show that bicycles, scooters, push chairs and footwear can damage the special non- slip-proof surface.

“Sadly, a minority of people disregard the signs and spoil the surface, resulting in closure while repairs are carried out, and these take time.

“To prevent further closures, people are asked to heed the signs.

“Anything rubber, such as tyres and pushchairs, can lead to surface damage and disappointment for the hundreds of children who enjoy this popular, free facility.”

He also said he believed cyclists who were often spoken to about their behaviour still return later on, damaging the surface. As your Worcester News reported last month, the four-day closure affected many people, including Sharen Thomas, a mum-of-three from Ross-on-Wye, who travelled 40 miles with her family only to find the Splashpad fenced off. The friends group will be keeping a close eye on the Splashpad to help avoid any repeats.

A spokesman for Worcester City Council said: “Attractions like this do get wear and tear and the necessary repairs were carried out as quickly as possible.”

The authority was unable to confirm if cyclists were to blame for the damage, where holes had started to appear on the surface.