"Hazard" bollards causing problems in Slimbridge

SR_299_001 Slimbridge residents Huvin Thompson, Mike Haynes, and Gordon Scott next to the new bollards in the centre of the village (8678715)

SR_298_001 Slimbridge residents Huvin Thompson, Mike Haynes, and Gordon Scott next to the new bollards in the centre of the village (8678732)

First published in News
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Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge

TWO bollards are causing controversy in Slimbridge as some residents believe they are a danger after being badly positioned but one homeowner says it keeps his listed house safe.

Mike Haynes, 79, said the position of the bollards on St John's Road will cause problems and be a danger to those with poor eyesight or with mobility problems like himself.

The retired nuclear power engineer, who has lived in Slimbridge for 32 years, thinks the bollards should never have been put up, calling them a “hazard” and not protecting the area they are supposed to be.

“They have generated a large amount of criticism, there’s been a lack of co-ordination,” he said.

“What I am anxious to see happen is to get them taken out because it is a danger to people.”

However Stuart Fellows, who approached Gloucestershire Highways and appealed to have the bollards placed, said they are needed to keep his home safe from vehicles.

The Old Byre is a listed converted farm building built in the 1860s and Mr Fellows said it has a historical value to the village and its integrity needed to be protected.

“Twice in the past year, my property has been hit by vehicles leaving the village,” he said.

“On the first occasion in June 2013, Mike Haynes himself was alert enough to take the registration number of the offending vehicle, and I was able to re-claim the £600 repair costs from the driver's insurers.

“On the second occasion in June this year, no one saw who caused the damage, so the repair costs have been down to me.”

No structural damage has been caused to the oak frame of the old building but Mr Fellows is concerned that that it is only a matter of time before serious damage is caused.

Mr Fellows said that although he was anxious not to upset anyone in the village, there were already existing locations where the pavement widths are less than where the new bollards have been placed in Slimbridge.

“I hope Gloucestershire Highways will keep their nerve and not remove the bollards,” he said.

“However, if they do, then perhaps the very few people who have objected, will be prepared to pay for the repairs, the next time my property is damaged.”

Highways manager Daniel Tiffney said safety was paramount.

"This is why these bollards have been put outside the house as the property had been hit several times by vehicles and needed protecting," he said.

“The bollards are an industry standard used across the country and meet safety requirements. There is over one meter of clear footpath for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs. The black and white design is deliberately striking for people who are visually impaired.”

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