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Burton bollards will remain out of use 'until the new year'

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

By Laura Hammond

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BURTON'S bollards will remain out of use at least until the new year, while highways bosses continue in their indecision over what to do with the notorious posts.

Staffordshire County Council was due to decide on the future of the traffic restriction by the end of July, but the authority has now revealed that it has failed to identify a course of action as yet.

Staff say the issue which led to many issues with the bollards – people "tailgating" buses – seems to have ceased, and so it is safe to keep the bollards down.

Councillor Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council's cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: "We have been working closely with partners in Burton to find a solution which not only keeps the town centre safe for pedestrians, but allows motorists, buses and business vehicles to travel smoothly around the town centre.

"After a carrying out a review of traffic flows, I am pleased that the vast majority of motorists are using the roads as they should and are no longer tailgating buses to take a short cut.

"As a result it has been decided to leave the bollards lowered and we will assess in the new year whether further measures are necessary. The area will continue to be monitored closely.

"On those rare occasions where drivers do decide to flout the law they will face fines and possible further prosecution as they would if they chose to put lives at risk by ignoring any other traffic order in the country."

Businesses based on High Street tell a very different story about people continuing to "flout the law".

One trader who runs a shop near the bollard at the junction with Worthington Way, told the Mail he saw countless vehicles heading through.

"There has definitely been an increase in the number of cars coming through. There is a complete lack of policing when they are down, and the cars are coming through. The speeds they're travelling at is a problem as well.

"The bollards did make a difference, and they should come back," he added.

The posts have been down for many months now as discussions take place with Staffordshire County Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council and the police to come up with a solution to maintaining safety for pedestrians in the area while still allowing access for buses and non-restricted vehicles.

It comes after a long line of incidents where drivers were becoming impaled on the bollards, at a high cost to the local authority.

A review published earlier this year laid blame at the feet of the drivers in all of these cases. The council said motorists must have been tailgating the buses and then becoming caught, but many people who have faced the problem said they simply did not know the area was restricted.

Karen Shand, who works at Chris Goodhead Photographic, said she was on the side of the council.

"The signs are there, and if people go through and get caught it's their own fault. It's supposed to be a pedestrianised area.

"They should get the bollards back up."

But that may not be the case, as Staffordshire County Council is now considering removing the posts and putting in ANPR cameras, to catch people who should not be going into the area. Signage could also be improved under the plans.

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2 comments

  • JuanSanchez  |  August 18 2014, 5:54PM

    Typical council, always looking for more ways to justify wasting tax payers money!!! A £100,000 ANPR system for a problem that can be fixed with just a bucket of paint and a couple of road signs!! There's never been any mention of vehicles caught on the bollard in Station Street because it is not used by buses. All the accidents seem to have occurred on High Street when motorists tailgate buses. So why not force the buses to stop just before they clear the bollards to see if there is a vehicle behind them? A solid white or red line as a marker in the road and an adjacent stop sign for the bus drivers should be enough.

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  • Gothamite  |  August 14 2014, 5:03PM

    Inactive, useless and not liked. Give em a job on the council...

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