Contractors sit in vans 24 hours a day to lift city bollards
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]plc.com