Con­trac­tors sit in vans 24 hours a day to lift city bol­lards

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By ELIS SAND­FORD

PRI­VATE con­trac­tors are be­ing paid to sit in vans next to Broadgate 24 hours a day - in case bol­lards need to be lifted to al­low ve­hi­cles into the city cen­tre square.

The coun­cil has re­vealed that “so far”, it has spent £2,500 to have the pri­vate staff sat wait­ing at the High Street en­trance to the square, near Cosy Club and Natwest Bank.

How­ever, this cost also cov­ers emer­gency trans­porta­tion, in­stal­la­tion, and the cost of hir­ing and re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing bol­lards.

A Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor has told the Tele­graph the se­cu­rity staff are forced to con­stantly run their en­gines to keep warm in their ve­hi­cles.

He also says a traf­fic war­den tried to give the men a park­ing ticket.

It is un­der­stood the staff are work­ing in 12-hour shifts be­cause the rise and fall bol­lards suf­fered a power fail­ure and are not cur­rently op­er­a­tional.

Coven­try City Coun­cil has con­firmed that ac­cess is cur­rently be­ing con­trolled by a pri­vate firm who are parked at the High Street en­trance to Broadgate, rais­ing the bol­lards when ac­cess is needed.

It is the lat­est in­stal­ment in the saga of fail­ing bol­lards in­stalled to con­trol ac­cess to the busy square and has been branded “not good enough” by Con­ser­va­tive Cllr Tim Mayer.

It fol­lows prob­lems at the Trin­ity Street en­trance - be­tween the Fly­ing Stan­dard pub and Pri­mark - which saw a va­ri­ety of vans and even a bus for dis­abled peo­ple be­ing used as a se­cu­rity block­ade af­ter the au­to­matic ris­ing bol­lards were re­moved af­ter ap­par­ently be­ing dam­aged.

Bol­lards are in place on both the Trin­ity Street and High Street en­trances to Broadgate, to pre­vent unau­tho­rised ve­hi­cle ac­cess.

It is be­lieved the bol­lards on the Trin­ity Street side 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 aBAE Sys­tem­sHawk placed on static dis­play on Broadgate.

As a re­sult of this dam­age, the au­to­matic ris­ing bol­lards were re­moved, and the holes were filled in with Tar­mac.

Af­ter prob­lems with bol­lards at the Trin­ity Street en­trance, both coun­cil ve­hi­cles and pri­vate hire vans were be­ing parked where the bol­lards should stand, to re­strict ac­cess.

In Septem­ber, a Coven­try City Coun­cil spokesper­son re­vealed that they were re­plac­ing the­ses bol­lards in “the next cou­ple of months”, but stressed that there was no spe­cific time­line for the com­ple­tion of these works.

More re­cently, the bol­lards on the High Street side have mal­func­tioned, re­sult­ing in the coun­cil hir­ing a pri­vate firm to con­trol ac­cess.

At the Trin­ity Street en­trance to Broadgate, a num­ber of static bol­lards were in­stalled in No­vem­ber ahead of the Christ­mas lights switch-on.

These are not a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion, but came as a re­sult of a man­u­fac­tur­ers de­lay in in­stalling the new rise and fall bol­lards.

Coun­cil­lor Ab­dul Salam Khan, Coven­try City Coun­cil’s Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Events, said: “The safety of shop­pers and vis­i­tors to the city cen­tre has al­ways been our main pri­or­ity which has led to the tem­po­rary

News Re­porter elis.sand­[email protected]­

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