New bollards to help as anti-terro devices have impaled almost 80 cars, including a police vehicle, in Canterbury after they were fitted around the town centre.
The 3ft tall bollards, which shoot up out of the road surface, have not been a hit with motorists after damaging a number of vehicles. It has left motorist- including the police – facing large repair bills.
In the sixteen months since they were installed to ‘spear’ any fleeing terrorists’ cars, they have led to a large number of vehicles being damaged, with repair bills running into tens of thousands of pounds.
After advice from anti-terror police and at a cost of £789,000, they were installed in November 2020, although many questioned the need for such measures. The automated bollards are controlled via an intercom and camera system.
The pop-up steel posts have been installed at 20 locations, which provide a ring of protection around the city centre and only allow access to certain motorists, including residents and traders. Others, such as delivery drivers and postal workers, can only go through the bollards between 4pm and 10.30am.
Drivers with damaged vehicles say they can’t persuade their insurance companies to settle claims or just don’t want to lose their no claim bonus and instead hope they get compensation from the council.
The town is already congested enough without people queuing to get through the bollards
But Canterbury City Council is fighting back, saying the number of incidents is ‘miniscule’ given how many vehicles pass through the bollards each day.
A council spokesperson said ‘Three quarters of these have been tailgating incidents caused by driver error. The remainder relate to vehicles attempting to pass over the bollards when they are in the process of lowering, but are not fully lowered – again a result of a mistake by the motorist. There are multiple signs up at each bollard site, along with red stop lights, telling drivers not to tailgate. You really cannot miss them’.