Coun­cil de­fends use of bus to block Broadgate en­trance

VE­HI­CLE USED TO ‘PRO­TECT’ STREET IN PLACE OF DAM­AGED BOLLARDS

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By ELIS SAND­FORD

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 elis.sand­ford@reach­plc.com The coun­cil bus be­ing used to block the Trin­ity Street en­trance to Broadgate

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