1. ITV Report

Interim barriers installed following Charlie Pope's canal death

Barriers Photo: ITV News

By Kris Jepson

Interim barriers have been installed on the waterway next to the Rochdale Canal in Greater Manchester, following the death of Northumbrian student Charlie Pope a fortnight ago.

Charlie's father, Nick Pope, told ITV News Tyne Tees, "it's fantastic", but "only the start".

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Mr Pope met with the Manchester Water Safety Partnership earlier this week to discuss his concerns about the lack of protection for members of the public walking next to the canal.

It comes after his son, Charlie, allegedly lost his balance and fell into the canal, whilst attempting to cross the water via the lock on the 2 March.

Mr Pope has also added his name to a petition calling for permanent barriers to be erected, which has already been signed by more than 44,000 people.

Charlie Pope Credit: Family photo

It's fantastic news. It's such a relief. I heard last night that they were going to do it and one of the drivers for it, is that there is going to be bad weather this weekend and so it's wonderful. I mean it's just such great news. Obviously this is a start and they're going to look to putting a permanent fix in.

– Nick Pope, Charlie Pope's dad

The Manchester Water Safety Partnership, which consists of representatives from the council, Greater Manchester Police, the fire service, the Canal and River Trust, CityCo and the Royal Life Saving Society, said installing permanent barriers is not "straight forward", because they have to allow access to and from the waterside for the canal to operate.

Barriers Credit: ITV News

Mr Pope argues they need to think of a "modern, creative, 21st Century solution" that will appease all parties, so that the canal remains functional, whilst keeping people safe.

The Canal and River Trust told ITV News Mr Pope's concerns have been taken on board.

He was able to express his concerns about some of the things people were doing in and around this lock. Having observed some of the things going on on site as well ourselves, we wanted to just put some temporary barriers up because we are concerned about some of the people who are crossing the lock, not using the foot bridge that is here, but by a different route.

– David Baldacchino, Canal & River Trust