Now you see it, now you don’t....again.
Preston’s celebrated Fishergate Bollard did another vanishing act less than 48 hours after County Hall insisted: “It’s going nowhere.”
The much-maligned concrete road marker, knocked down more times than Donald Trump’s PR manager, went missing for the umpteenth time at the weekend, sparking fears it had finally been kidnapped.
But the social media panic calmed hours later when the bollard, which even has its own Twitter account, was found lying in a heap in a nearby side street.
“We’re aware that the bollard is not in place and we’ll be putting it back again.
“We’re currently looking into what happened to it,” said Daniel Herbert, highway network manager for LCC.
The collision, one of many suffered by the bollard since it was first cemented into place at the junction of Corporation Street and Fishergate two years ago, is thought to have happened sometime during Saturday night.
The timing could not have been more embarrassing for highways bosses at LCC, who had only just gone on record to quash speculation over the bollard’s future.
Unveiling radical changes to the Fishergate Shared Space scheme on Friday in a bid to ease traffic congestion, Mr Herbert was asked if the problem concrete marker was finally going to be taken out.
I can’t understand why some people think it’s a roundabout. It’s been knocked down that many times - it’s even got its own Twitter account.
Despite numerous collisions involving vehicles trying to negotiate the junction, his answer was an emphatic and unequivocal “No.”
“I can’t repeat some of the conversations we’ve had in the office,” he laughed.
“There are a couple of bollards at the top of Corporation Street, we have got those same bollards on Fishergate itself and we have those bollards at the top of Butler Street. So it’s not the only location we have got these features.
“I can’t understand why some people think it’s a roundabout. It’s been knocked down that many times - it’s even got its own Twitter account.
“I think that highlights that no matter what we try to do as professionals and whatever is well thought-out, we are relying on drivers.
“Some of those drivers are sensible and will follow things, but others will take risks.”
The changes being introduced to the shared space scheme include bus lanes and a camera to catch drivers who ignore the restrictions. They will be introduced on October 31 for a six-month trial period.