YORK’S riversides still need more lifebuoys and safety fencing to stop people falling in to the water, safety experts say.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RoSPA) has set out what work still needs to be done after it was commissioned to review and report on water safety in the city.

The charity’s experts started work in April 2014, after a winter which saw several people drown in the Ouse and the Foss, and they have now produced an update report for City of York councillors, saying that although a lot has been done to improve the situation there are still areas that need attention.

The report looks at both rivers - the Ouse between Water End and Millennium Bridge, the Foss between Blue Bridge and Huntington Road, and lakes, ponds and becks in Clifton Backies, Rowntree Park, Rawcliffe Lake, Centurion Lagoon and Chapman’s Pond.

RoSPA recommended that the council should provide lifebuoys at regular intervals on the watersides, and should do whatever repairs possible to cut down the chance of people getting in to the water, help people climb out or be rescued, and make sure the watersides are inspected and maintained regularly in the future.

Plenty of work has already been carried out, the report says, with extra railings around Blue Bridge, new more visible lifebuoys on the riversides, silt cleared from banks to make escape routes clearer, and signage improved to warn people of the dangers.

But, it adds, stretches of the Ouse still need grabrails and post and chain fencing to be installed, and they are planning to put in steps to the Ouse around Clifton.

Some of RoSPA’s recommendations, like emergency lighting under Ouse Bridge, will not be implemented, and the report reveals that grab chains won’t be installed in places where boats moor up, or where people need access to the river for sport.

The council’s Communities and Environment Policy and Scrutiny Committee will consider the report next Wednesday, June 29.