Upset over bollard saga

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It’s taken four years of testing and head-scratching from roads bosses.

Rising bollards installed at the the junction of Cheapside and Friargate in 2009 at a cost of £35,000 were meant to cut congestion by limiting access in Preston city centre.

Issues: The bollards below the Fishergate/Cheapside junction in Preston

Issues: The bollards below the Fishergate/Cheapside junction in Preston

However, the bollards have never been fully operational owing to ongoing concerns involving safety, disabled access and debates over which local council will be incharge of operating them.

City councillors suggested the devices could be on on the move after a recent study identified further issues with them.

Brookfield Coun John Browne raised the matter of the delays at a full Preston Council meeting in the Town Hall last week.

He has asked for a number of updates on the fate of the £35,000 roads scheme over the last few months.

Coun Browne said: “It seems the bollards are too near the top of Cheapside and if it’s going to happen, they will have to be moved.

“It has been a scandalous waste of money and a bad design.”

Coun John Swindells, deputy council leader and cabinet member for planning, told the meeting an audit suggested the bollards will not work in their current location but could be moved further along Cheapside.

He said: “It does appear they won’t work in that position but they may well come back in a different position.”

However, Lancashire County Council roads chiefs today said they could not confirm the bollards would be moving but hoped to give a fuller update on them soon.

Paul Dunne, highways manger, said: “We are currently preparing a report which sets out the findings of recent trials and safety audits. We will discuss the findings and any potential impact on the city centre with Preston City Council.”

County council chiefs announced in March last year the bollards should be working by April. The issue was raised again in July last year, when bosses said they needed to check software controlling the bollards was operating correctly.