Drivers destroy George Street bollards

Seven out of eight bollards have been damaged by cars  flouting the rules on George Street bike lane. Picture: Scott Taylor

Seven out of eight bollards have been damaged by cars flouting the rules on George Street bike lane. Picture: Scott Taylor

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BOLLARDS introduced to George Street less than a fortnight ago will have to be replaced with more “robust” barriers after careless drivers destroyed almost every one.

The £100 metal poles had been installed to stop motorists ignoring a traffic ban on certain parts of the street which have been turned in to new ­pedestrian zones and a cycle path.

But motorists have been blamed for ­demolishing seven out of the eight new bollards within days.

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Now city chiefs are combing through CCTV to catch the drivers who damaged the collapsable posts, which were erected following complaints from cyclists.

Ian Maxwell, chairman of cycling campaign groups Spokes, said drivers would grow more accustomed to the new layout.

He said: “The trouble is that George Street is still a work in progress and will take some bedding in.

“I hope changes either end will make it clearer and less used by motorists.

“I’ve been using George Street quite frequently at a variety of times and I have certainly noticed a few motorists on them, but not too many.

“I think if motorists find themselves on the wrong bit, they should hopefully slow down and exit with their tail between their legs.”

The alterations are part of a year-long pilot that has seen cycle lanes established along the length of the Capital’s ­high-end shopping street.

A huge swathe of pedestrian space has been created with road closures along the length of the street and traffic flowing in a one-way system.

Motorists claimed they had accidently turned into the ­traffic-free zone because they failed to notice road signs highlighting the new restrictions.

Entrances to the routes ­feature blue cycle path signs, but there are not any no-entry signs for motorists.

Josh Miller, chairman of the George Street Association, said better signage would deter drivers from making wrong turns into George Street.

He said: “I know they were installed as there were cars that were still driving along that shouldn’t have been.

“I have seen one or two cars going along and I’m not sure why it’s still happening. ­Whatever’s been done has safety in mind. Those bollards are designed to let emergency vehicles through so they can’t put concrete bollards or planters in. If cars are still flouting it then I think they need better signage.”

Transport convenor Councillor Lesley Hinds, said the ­bollards were intended to deter “drivers consistently flouting the rules” on George Street.

“These were chosen in consultation with emergency services in order to allow access to emergency vehicles,” she said.

“Unfortunately, a number of these bollards have been damaged.

“We are in the process of replacing these, but the public are being reminded that it is not only dangerous, but a criminal offence to deliberately damage bollards, and instances will be reported to the police.”