Council defends use of bus to block Broadgate entrance
VEHICLE USED TO ‘PROTECT’ STREET IN PLACE OF DAMAGED BOLLARDS
A NEW vehicle has been spotted blocking the entrance to Broadgate.
One of Coventry City Council’s minibuses, believed to be used to transport disabled residents, has instead been used to prevent unauthorised access to Broadgate from Trinity Street this week.
And this week the council have defended their decision to park fleet vehicles at the entrance, rather than using them elsewhere.
They have said that it will not impact the day-to-day operations of the council.
A council spokesperson said: “We are continuing to protect Broadgate with one of our fleet vehicles. We are doing this by balancing vehicle availability with business need. Temporarily taking this vehicle off the road will have no impact on service users.”
Since early July, the bollards have been broken and council vehicles have been used as an alternative until these are fixed - but no timetable has been given.
It is believed the bollards, which are used to prevent unauthorised vehicles from driving onto Broadgate from Trinity Street, were damaged during the RAF centenary celebrations, in early July.
A special three-day event took place in the city centre on July 6-8, which saw a BAE Systems Hawk placed on static display on Broadgate.
It is not known how the damage was caused, or who caused it, but it was severe enough that the automatic rising bollards were removed, and the holes were filled in with Tarmac.
Council owned and council hired vehicles have been used to block the entrance until a permanent solution is sourced.
A number of vehicles have been spotted in this position in recent months, with a grey van the most commonly seen until recently.
Previously, Coventry City Council told the Telegraph that the van is council-owned.
However, there was speculation both online and on a local radio programme that this was not the case.
It has now been confirmed that the van is not council owned, but rather the council hire the vehicle at a cost of “approximately £90 a week”, according to a council spokesperson.
They did however stress that it is part of the council vehicle fleet.
Further confusion arose over the fact that the van had no permit in the window explaining its presence, leading to the confusion over the ownership of the vehicle.
This week two separate vehicles have been spotted in this position, with both displaying the correct permit on the dashboard.
A Coventry City Council spokesperson said: “We are getting the rise and fall bollards replaced in the next couple of months, though there is no timeline for this.
“We’ve been looking for a robust, moveable solution, because protecting the public is our priority.”
Since Broadgate was pedestrianised, vehicles are no longer able to drive anywhere near the Godiva statue, with just a few exceptions.
Delivery and loading vehicles, emergency services access, and more recently, construction vehicles at the new Cathedral Lanes restaurants are the only expections.
And to allow these vehicles, but not any others, rise and fall bollards were installed at the entrance to Broadgate and at Trinity Street.
News Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org The council bus being used to block the Trinity Street entrance to Broadgate