A POPULAR toddlers’ play area has been closed and isn’t set to reopen until at least early next year.

The under-fives play equipment in Longford Park in Stretford was closed last week and has remained shut ever since over safety concerns.

 A spokesman for the One Trafford partnership explained the junior swings need replacing and said: “On safety grounds the under-fives play area at Longford Park has been closed awaiting repairs. This relates to the condition of the safety surfaces underneath the play equipment.

“This surfacing had already been identified for replacement and these works are due to begin in the New Year.

"We take the safety of everyone using our park facilities extremely seriously and on that basis we are unfortunately unable to reopen the under 5’s play area until these surfacing issues are resolved.

“Sadly some play equipment in the junior play area was also recently vandalised, and subsequently removed in order to protect the safety of children using the park facilities.

"Where possible, our teams will always look to repair broken or failed equipment as part of their maintenance work. In the case of these junior swings a repair is not possible.”

Each year Trafford Council produces a list of planned investment and improvements to play equipment across the borough.

The programme for this year has already been determined and due to budget constraints cannot accommodate any new projects.

But parents spoke of their worry at the play area being shut.

One dad said: “It’s been shut for a week already – that’s a long time for children to be without an opportunity to play there. How long will this assessment take? And why (as has happened previously with faulty equipment) can’t that particular equipment be fenced off and the rest reopened now?”