10:38 Monday 26 August 2013

Bollards are 'driving shoppers away'

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

One in a long line of bollard strikes in High Street One in a long line of bollard strikes in High Street

TRAFFIC bollard systems, such as those used in Burton town centre, are contributing to the downfall of the high street, a Government minister has said.

Eric Pickles said measures such as bollards and speed humps are deterring people from shopping in town centres and believes many people are choosing to shop online rather than face the arduous and often complicated task of negotiating town centres.

The Communities and Local Government Secretary called on councils to ban bollards and speed humps from town centres and also reduce parking charges.

Mr Pickles’ comments come as a decision on the future of Burton’s own controversial bollards looms.

The bollards, in High Street, have been a hugely divisive issue in the town since their introduction in 2008 with countless unsuspecting motorists being caught out as they rise from the ground and left counting the cost of the damage caused.

Mr Pickles said: “Draconian town hall parking policies and street clutter can make driving into town centres unnecessarily stressful and actually create more congestion because of lack of places to park.

“Anti-car measures are driving motorists into the arms of internet retailers and out of town superstores, taking their custom with them.”

New Government planning guidance is advising councils that ‘unnecessary clutter and physical constraints’ such as bollards and humps ‘should be avoided.’

Despite a number of measures being introduced in a bid to end motorists’ misery, including a raised red surfaces leading up to them and warnings on the back of buses, crashes have continued to happen on a regular basis.

Victims have labelled the system as being unclear, especially to drivers who are unfamiliar with the area, while others have leapt to its defence, insisting it is clearly signposted.

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