Why no income for bollards?

January 07 2021

The safety problem reported involving the bike peloton and a pedestrian walking her dog using the Crookbarrow Way Bridge is just one of a number of close call incidents I’ve seen on the pathways leading to St Peter’s and Battenhall from the bridge.

It’s impossible to police and putting up signs assumes an individual’s sense of responsibility and ignores the fact that young children and the vulnerable are users as well.

Physical barriers to improve safety would surely prove effective.

Recently I contacted a local councillor to express my concern and asked that measures be taken to protect young children accessing parks and also pedestrians using the pathways.

The major danger is cyclists riding too fast for the conditions on these narrow shared spaces.

This potential for harm is further enhanced by the pedestrians’ lack of awareness that bikes are behind them.

We discussed barriers that would enable both bike riders and people with pushchairs to access successfully.

If strategically placed, they would also help inhibit recklessness and protect the vulnerable.

I understood from him that due to financial constraints no immediate action would be forthcoming but that they were aware of the problem and dangers.

A few weeks after our discussion I saw that bollards were put in place at park access gaps to prevent unauthorised vehicles entering.

Money was obviously available for this problem.

Why is preventing unauthorised vehicle access more important than protecting individuals and why wasn’t the income available for the bollards also used to help support a joint safety measure option for both bike riders and pedestrians?

Functional metal access barriers placed strategically would make the paths safer for all users whilst still making the area accessible for bike riders and pushchairs users.

They would, by default, also prevent unauthorised vehicle access and reduce speeds.

More thought and risk analysis would have considered wider options that provided longer term safety and financial benefits for all.

Finally, on my regular daily walks, it’s apparent that it’s only a few young people as most riders are age 30-plus and, by default, seem unaware of what the warning bell on the handlebars is for or why caution and spatial awareness are needed when passing people.

 

Paul Dunbar, Battenhall