|Controversial new bollard 'protects pedestrians'|
New road markings follow spate of crashes
A controversial new bollard at a Wimbledon town centre junction was installed to protect pedestrians from cars cutting the corner.
There have been reports of at least eight crashes in three months after the new metal bell bollard was installed at the junction of Wimbledon Hill Road and Worple Road in mid-November.
Staff at Haart estate agents, which overlooks the junction, say they have witnessed eight cars crash into the bollard during working hours.
Lettings manager Sarah Davies wrote to Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond following an accident earlier this month.
He contacted Merton Borough Council and Mario Lecordier, traffic and highways services manager, has since responded.
He said: "Prior to the installation of the bell bollard, the island had been continually overridden by vehicles deliberately cutting the corner, which as a result, put vulnerable pedestrians waiting at the island at risk.
"It also resulted in the keep-left bollard and kerbs often being damaged to a point of disrepair.
"To safeguard pedestrians from the continual unecessary overrunning of vehicles, a more robust and substantial means of protection, such as the bell bollard, was considered to be the most suitable solution."
The council has since introduced bollard hatch markings and guidance lines to encourage motorists to take a wider berth. It also says it will continue to liaise with the police and will consider further changes, if required.
February 23, 2012