End of road for city bollards?

The notorious Fishergate Bollard and his five concrete chums could find their days are numbered now the Tories have taken over at County Hall.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th May 2017, 7:30 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
The empty plinths
The empty plinths

A new county highways chief has put the hapless traffic markers at the top of his priority list this week with four out of six currently off the road after being hit by vehicles.

Coun Keith Iddon, who only took over as cabinet member for highways and transportation on Thursday, admitted to the Post he had already been briefed on the strange case of the disappearing bollards.

“We’re trying to get to the bottom of why they keep getting knocked down,” said Coun Iddon. “They’re big and have lights, so there must be an issue. So it will be one of my first things to look at this week.”

While the old Labour administration slavishly replaced them every time they were knocked off their pedestals – in particular the one with its own Twitter account – the new Tory team is to take a long, hard look at why they keep getting flattened.

And with critics saying they serve no useful purpose – and are really just a load of bollards – there is a chance it could spell the end for the social media favourite and his chums.

The catalogue of crashes has gripped Twitter – and the columns of the Post – since August last year.

The worst record of collisions belongs to the most prominent concrete marker at the junction with Corporation Street, near to the entrance to the Fishergate Shopping Centre.

County Hall staff admit they have lost count of the number of times it has been knocked over by drivers who, despite it standing more than three feet tall and sitting on a large stone, somehow fail to see it.

The regularity of pictures of an empty plinth appearing on social media led to some wag starting up a Twitter account called Fishergate Bollard.

But while that particular marker has been hogging the media, others have been suffering from wayward motorists too.

Now, after four were wiped out in the space of less than two months, all of them in separate crashes, the new Tory administration has vowed to renew the issue.

The first was flattened on March 24 by a car at 1.30am. On May 9 in the early morning a second was wiped out by a wagon.

Six days later the famous Fishergate Bollard was sent bouncing down the road for the umpteenth time. And then on Friday a fourth bit the dust.

“I’ve been inundated with calls about all sorts of things like potholes since I took over highways and transportation,” said Coun Iddon. “But the bollards are high on my priority list.

“We’ve just had a visit from Wolverhampton Council who wanted to look at our scheme because they are planning one of their own. It was during that visit that my attention was drawn to the bollards being down.

“We have been trying to establish why people keep running into them. It’s obviously an issue and one we need to look into to see what we should do.”