MORE than £100,000 has been shelled out by a council to repair Burton’s notorious town centre bollards after being damaged by motorists on dozens of occasions, the Mail can reveal.
The amount totals cash paid by Staffordshire County Council to attend to the High Street bollards each time they were hit by a vehicle over the past five years.
The debate has long raged in Burton whether the rising posts should be scrapped due to the sheer number of smashes that have caused misery for many drivers since their installation in 2008.
The situation isn’t improving over time, with figures also revealing that crashes in High Street reached their peak last year, with 21 bumps reported, almost as many as the previous three years combined, leading to calls for action.
The county council is currently in the midst of a review regarding their future, but has admitted the posts are unlikely to be removed.
The bollards have been out of action for weeks as the review process continues.
Burton councillor Ron Clarke said the situation must change.
He said: “It is a lot more than it should be paying. I strongly believe, as I did in 2011, that it should be fully pedestrianised.”
Following a Freedom of Information request by the Mail, Staffordshire County Council revealed it had cost £100,638 in damage repairs and maintenance since 2009, but stressed more than half of that figure had been claimed back through motorists’ insurance.
With 64 recorded incidents in the last five years, Councillor Clarke, who serves on both Staffordshire County Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council and is heavily involved in the review process, said it was clear the system isn’t working.
He said: “That is far, far too many. It is not pleasant for drivers, or for pedestrians who are walking past and see it happen. That’s why it is important we find a satisfactory solution.
“The majority of the accidents have happened as a result of motorists following buses. You have to allow traffic through at certain times, but I think it should be pedestrianised.”
“There are a number of meetings arranged with the borough council and county council and are hoping it will be concluded by next week. We want to try and get thos sorted as soon as we can.”