“We don’t feel welcome anymore”

Skaters are facing problems in Canada Water plaza as the place is starting to be dangerous for them and the local community.

img_9394

(Skaters at the plaza)

With the closest skate park in SE1, the lovers of this sport see themselves forced to use the Canada Water plaza. The SE16 community complains that “it’s not very nice to see these young people using the bins in Canada Water plaza as a skateboard training centre” and “cars have to stop when they nearly fall on the road.” With the constant growth of skateboarders in the area, there is an urge to build a skate park, but the council isn’t doing anything to help.

After talking to Rio, one of the local skaters, he explained that “the community only sees us as a problem and doesn’t try to find a solution. Instead of creating a skate park, the council keeps trying to push us away. In 2013 they even built anti-skateboarding guards.”
The council explains that “the timber benches installed at the plaza were damaged by skateboarders (…) and the council received a number of complaints from the public about the splintering. Contractors were appointed to install guards to prevent future damage.”

Hugo, another skater, also adds “We don’t feel welcome anymore. The skating culture has never been taken kindly to anyone, but it’s only gotten worse since this summer. And even though I totally understand their side, they don’t try to understand ours.”

img_9411(Hugo performing an ollie at the plaza)