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Crouch End lido swimmers furious after Christmas Day dip cancelled

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:51 22 December 2017

Swimmers line up before taking the plunge at Park Road Lido in last year's Christmas Day dip. Picture: KATY FERGUSON

Swimmers line up before taking the plunge at Park Road Lido in last year's Christmas Day dip. Picture: KATY FERGUSON

Archant

Swimmers who bought tickets for a Christmas Day dip are reeling after their pool was forced to close suddenly.

Regulars at Park Road Lido were shocked to discover their festive swims had been cancelled by pool operator Fusion Lifestyle due to “technical issues”.

But according to users of the Crouch End pool lane closures, staff absences and technical problems are “a constant source of irritation and frustration”.

Visitors say the pool needs to be topped up regularly due to a “foot and a half wide” crack with paint applied to mark lanes washing away because it wasn’t water soluble.

Swimmer Gary Duffield, who has used the lido for 15 years, said: “The hours it opens are very limited, but Fusion just say, ‘We don’t have to open it’, which makes you feel you don’t have grounds to complain.

“There are all sorts of things wrong with it. They need to paint, seal and fix it properly. It would be so nice to have a pool managed properly. When you ask them what’s wrong you get a black hole of silence,” Mr Duffield said.

In 2015 City of London Corporation which runs the Parliament Hill Lido held talks with Fusion to run the site but it never went ahead.

Fusion has full responsibility for repairs and maintenance at Park Road and is contracted to open it from May to October.

Haringey Council fines Fusion for full or part closures, as in this current case.

“Fusion tried to get hold of Parliament Hill but it didn’t succeed and it runs like clockwork,” Mr Duffield said before asking how Haringey Council has monitored Fusion’s work since awarding it the contract to run the lido in 2012.

Outdoor swimmer Martin Upham said he was pleased when Fusion was awarded the contract for the “wonderful facility” but added: “This has not been a happy autumn - niggles unaddressed, random closures and hours which suit some swimmers not others.”

Fusion’s Ben Dixon apologised for the closure saying the firm is committed to running the pool at “the highest standard possible” and reinvests all profits in the lido. He added that Christmas Day swimmers were entitled to a full refund.

A Haringey spokeswoman said: “We suspect the recent cold snap led to a crack in the pipework. We are working with Fusion. We appreciate this is frustrating and apologise for any inconvenience.”

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