22nd Jan, 2021

Child figure bollards in Rubery and Barnt Green 'here to stay' after county council U-turn

Tristan Harris 25th Sep, 2020 Updated: 25th Sep, 2020

THE DECISION by Worcestershire County Council to remove the child figure bollards from outside schools has been overturned.

And in a dramatic U-turn the authority will be measuring their effectiveness at improving road safety around schools.

The figures were installed near Holywell Primary, Lickey Hills Primary, Beaconside Primary in Rubery and St Andrew’s School in Barnt Green, with the first ones introduced in 2016.

The road safety bollards – each painted in the relevant school uniforms – and their effectiveness in preventing motorists speeding and driving irresponsibly were welcomed.

But then last autumn the council claimed they did not meet the necessary requirements to be on the public highway because they did not the right ‘CE’ mark.

Their claims were refuted by Coun Peter McDonald who had campaigned to get them installed.

He pointed out the CE mark was not required as they were not within the relevant category listed by the EU.

Coun McDonald managed to pause any action against the ones outside Holywell and St Andrew’s but the figures near Beaconside and Lickey Hills Primary were taken down and put in storage.

Now, following the U-turn, those ones will be reinstated to their rightful place.

Coun McDonald labelled their removal an ‘act of crass stupidity’ and welcomed their return.

“I am pleased the County Council came to its senses and reinstated the bollards.

“This is good news as they have been proven to be more effective that other types of bollards in slowing down drivers and discouraging poor parking around our schools.

“These child bollards make it clear to drivers that there is a school and real living children in the vicinity.

“Drivers say they’re more aware of them than they are of normal bollards.

“It reminds people to think a little more around schools.

“It gives them a nudge so they’re conscious of their driving behaviour around children.”

A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said: “Children’s safety is of utmost importance to Worcestershire County Council and we have therefore agreed to conduct a three-year pilot study to understand how effective child bollards are.

“The pilot will be carried out in two divisions, Beacon and Chaddesley, and the results will inform any future policy.”

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