AS the number of people getting caught out by the Burton bollard continues to rise, the Mail asks, do people really want them in the town?
YES, says East Staffordshire’s Councillor Ali Chaudhry.
THE bollards provide an important service in Burton, and so they should remain in place, according to Councillor Ali Chaudhry, of East Staffordshire Borough Council.
But they are not perfect, he added, saying he would like to see changes brought in to make them more user-friendly.
“The bollards are not a bad idea. They were put in to protect pedestrian safety and they are doing a good job, but the accidents that are occurring are clearly unacceptable.
“The information shows there has been a reduction in accidents in the pedestrian zone, so they serve a purpose, but there are things the highways authority can do to make them safer,” Councillor Chaudhry said.
He called for better signage to warn people about the bollards, and said he thought the system could be improved if the bollard rose more slowly.
Councillor Simon Tagg, from highways authority Staffordshire County Council, said: “The traffic measures are clearly signposted and there are signs on the backs of many of the buses warning people not to tailgate. However, while most people do observe the signs there have unfortunately been occasions where motorists have continued to follow the buses.
“We are carrying out a review of traffic in the area, but would remind people that these measures are there to protect pedestrians and, by ignoring them, they not only risk damage to vehicles but more importantly injury to themselves and shoppers in the town.”
NO, says Burton MP Andrew Griffiths
WITH the victim toll of the bollards rising week by week – and four people caught out in the last week alone – Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said he thought it was time for a rethink over the bollards.
The politician said he was ‘seriously concerned’ with the number of incidents taking place because of the bollards, and wrote to Staffordshire County Council earlier this month calling for a safety review into the rising posts.
He told the Mail: “It’s right for trade and traders in the town that the road is kept pedestrianised and traffic-free, but there is something clearly wrong in the way the bollards operate when so many people get caught on such a regular basis.
“It’s up to every driver to keep their wits about them and spot things like the bollards, but when it happens so regularly, clearly something is not right.”
Richard Wolny, who runs Cherrington Cleaners, on the Market Place, agreed something had to change, but he called for traffic to return to High Street, so more people were able to use the shops and services based there.
He told the Mail earlier in the week: “They are in the wrong place. The council needs to wake up and see these bollards are damaging businesses. People are scared to come to the shops in the Market Place.
“But it’s not just about businesses. Innocent people are being hurt. It’s one thing to protect pedestrians, but the motorists are people as well.”
The opinion of the man in the street seems split on this issue. Many people commenting on the Mail’s website and Facebook page have said they welcome the continuation of the bollards, as they make the area safer by keeping traffic out. As some people see it, drivers should be able to read the signs and avoid the danger spot.
However, others have said they do nothing but cause problems for motorists, and do little to keep the area safe as there is a constant stream of buses heading into High Street through the buses, as well as delivery vans and other permit traffic.