A MUM has criticised a leisure centre in Romsey for not monitoring its soft play area to prevent overcrowding.

The Romsey mum, who asked to remain anonymous, is a frequent visitor to the play area at Romsey Rapids with her three-year-old son but often feels the number of users makes it “unsafe”.

The parent booked an 11am slot one Sunday in November, to find more than 20 children using the play area, with customers staying hours past their allotted time.

She said: “There was nowhere to sit and I had to stand blocking the emergency exit until I could find a chair.

“My son and I love this soft play but we have often found it overcrowded, to the point of it being a heath and safety risk, on multiple occasions. There is no policing over the amount of people coming in or out or the age of children coming in.

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“I have seen children in secondary school uniform running around inside when the maximum age is six years old and people who have admitted they've paid for one hour and spend up to three hours at a time in there as no one is checking.

“It is such a shame that no one seems to take the soft play seriously as it’s a lovely area for little ones.

“The only staff member seen to monitoring the unsafe situation was the guy working in Costa who went to the main reception to discuss safety concerns. I have raised concerns before and nothing has changed.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Romsey Rapids Sports ComplexRomsey Rapids Sports Complex (Image: Adele Bouchard)

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The mum believes that the soft play area should be better monitored, like the swimming pool, with coloured bands representing different time slots.

She added: “If people want to do longer than an hour they can book and pay for two hours and then at least they will have proof of booking. 

“They also need to enforce the maximum age limit and the soft play rules. Too often you see kids well over six years old. I have been in the queue to get a soft play ticket and have seen children well over six being able to go in. No one seems to ask about age.”

The concerned parent said when the weather is nice it doesn’t seem to be a problem but as soon as it’s raining or cold the play area is full.

Romsey Rapids Sports Complex opened the soft play area last year. The two-storey structure is inclusive for all pre-school children with both a soft space and ball pit area, as well as a slide and interactive play opportunities throughout.

The soft play costs £5.25 per child and £2.70 for under ones.

Places for Leisure has been contacted for comment but is yet to respond.