A DANGEROUSLY low riverside wall which led to the death of one pensioner and several serious accidents has finally been railed off.
Elderly campaigners have fought for three years for better safety on the riverside path at Rosebank Wharf in Fulham, where a number of people have been killed or seriously injured after tumbling over the side into the Thames.
Victims include 92-year-old Joyce Howitt, who died after falling off her mobility scooter in August 2006.
Another man had to be rescued after he and his dog plunged over the ankle-high wall in the same month, and several others - including an eight-year-old boy - have fallen into the river on the short stretch near the Fulham FC ground.
Ageing residents presented a 300-strong petition demanding action more than two years ago to Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which worked with the land owner to put in the metal railings at the end of last month.
Campaigner Elizabeth Young Sandy, 81, whose flat in Rowberry Close looks on to the danger spot, said: "I'm very, very happy. I'm thrilled they're finally up and it's very satisfying. They could have gone with more bars in the railings, but it serves as a warning that the drop is there, and it is dangerous."
Mrs Young Sandy claimed some residents had objected to the barrier, claiming it spoiled the view from their flats and would prevent them having picnics on the spot.
"We were amazed that people said they had picnics here," she said.
It is hoped the railings will now stop more people from falling through the overgrown bushes into the river.
"I would like to thank the 300 people who signed the petition in 2006," added Mrs Young Sandy, who said was supported in her campaign by fellow resident Hilda Earles, Chronicle reporter Saffron Pineger and victim Sylvia Cassley, who fell over the wall in 2005.
The cost of the railings was split between the council and the owners, Rosebank Wharf Ltd, and the council completed the work in time for the Oxford and Cambridge boat race.
Deputy council leader Nicholas Botterill said: "Residents will now be able to stroll along the path and enjoy the river walk without worrying about their safety. As a council, we have been pushing for a solution to this hazardous stretch of river wall for some time and are thrilled that the railings are now up."