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Chris Grayling MP responds to Butlins' decisions to ban dodgems for 'health and safety reasons'

"Bosses at Butlins ban bumper cars over health and safety fears" - BBC News, 27 April 2011
Response date:
26 April 2011

Dear Dermot King
Managing Director, Butlins

I was disappointed to read in the papers today that Butlins has banned bumping in dodgems or 'bumper cars' at three of its resorts, citing health and safety reasons.

While I fully appreciate the need to operate dodgems in such a way as to minimise serious impacts, I wish to make it clear that there is nothing in health and safety legislation or guidance to ban 'bumping' in dodgems.

Health and safety legislation plays an important part in the prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities, but - all too often - it is used as a convenient excuse to justify decisions that have been made for other reasons.

I hope Butlins will make it clear publicly that its decision to ban bumping in dodgems has no basis in health and safety rules and that it has absolutely no obligation to take what I suspect will prove to be an extremely controversial decision.

Given the public interest in this issue I am releasing this letter to the media.

With best wishes,

Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Minister for Employment

Updated 2012-01-13