NEW play equipment at a Didcot playground has been modified after worried parents claimed it was “a death-trap”.

Didcot Town Council’s new £60,000 Great Western Drive playground has proved popular with children since it opened last week, but some families said not all the equipment was safe.

Marcus Deacon, 40, who takes his friends’ children to play there, said a chained bucket that could be winched up and then released into the playground’s sandpit could injure a child.

He said: “The children can pull up the bucket, filled with sand, about 12 feet high and then just drop it.

“Obviously, you’re going to have two-, three- or four-year-old kids playing about in the sandpit below.

“The impact when it comes down would be enough to knock out an adult, let alone kids playing beneath.

He added: “When we were up there, a lot of the parents were worried about it.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before.

“Apart from that, the park is great, but this bit of equipment is ridiculous.

“It’s a death-trap and an accident waiting to happen.”

The town council has now adjusted the bucket’s chain to make sure it cannot be raised more than three feet off the ground.

Technical manager Brenda Andrews said: “We looked at it and contacted the manufacturers to ask about it. All the equipment they produce has got to be tested and certificated.

“We decided to change the stop on it within two days of it being installed.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents will carry out a full inspection of the play park this week, ahead of the official opening ceremony, which has been postponed until after next week’s General Election and council elections.

Parents had also raised concerns about huge boulders used to landscape the playground, but Mrs Andrews said the town council had to show how natural materials would be used in order to secure funding.

She said: “For a small play area, there’s an awful lot of equipment in it. We have had really good feedback.

“The old playground wasn’t particularly well used, but now there are a lot of families up there with their children, which is really encouraging.”

Samantha Redford, 18, said her daughter Roxii, two, loved the new park.

She said: “We came up here on Friday when it opened, and have been up here every day since.

“She loves the sandpit and I don’t really have any worries about safety.

“She won’t go near the bucket anyway.”