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24 November, 2006

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Vehicle access to Corporation Street in Manchester is restricted by retractible bollards.  Sensors in buses cause the metal poles to sink into the road, but they return very quickly, easily fast enough to stop 'tailgating' cars and vans.  Abruptly.

[Update 6/12/06: Heh. I beat BoingBoing to this one by almost a fortnight. ;) ]


The statistics speak for themselves - before the bollards, something like one pedestrian injury a month, plus at least one death.

Since the bollards, zero pedestrian casualties.

In my book, the life and limb of pedestrians trumps damage to cars belonging to the stupid. As libertoids love to say, "Think of it as evolution in action".

Yes, the Mr Toad lobby hate the things, but they can get stuffed.

Posted by Tim Hall at November 24, 2006 12:49 PM

We had them fitted on a street in York some years ago, and I seem to remember an incident when a taxi driver tailgated a bus and had the bollard rise up under his vehicle - the damage was so great that the car was a write-off and he threatened to sue the council for damages.

This was despite several signs along the street warning of automatic bollards being in operation ahead. No idea whether he won, but the bollards are still there, if I remember correctly.

Posted by Neil T. at November 24, 2006 01:31 PM

It's the cheek of the drivers that makes the damage to their vehicles particularly satisfying.

There are clear 'no entry' signs. No entry. None. This means you. Yet somehow they're regarded as not applying to self-important people, who try to get through anyway.
Or rather, they do know they're in the wrong but think they're cleverer than the system, as demonstrated by their attempts to sneak through (at speed) with a bus. What if the bus made an emergency stop?

I could watch this video for hours. ;) I hope a sequel shows a traffic warden ticketing the driver of an immobilised car and administering a fine for any damage to the bollard.

Taxis are an interesting case. Here in Lancaster the drivers' association has, seemingly successfully, lobbied for the right to be treated as buses, freely using bus and cycle lanes. If these bollards were installed, I wonder whether that'd still apply, as it'd require taxis to be fitted with the necessary sensors. I wonder who'd pay for them.

Posted by NRT at November 24, 2006 01:43 PM

Taxis using cycle lanes?

Posted by Siobhan Curran at November 26, 2006 01:42 PM

Okay, that's ambiguous, but literally true.
I'm referring to 'bus and cycle lanes', sections of road reserved for buses and bicycles, not separate 'bus lanes' and 'cycle lanes', and not off-road cycle tracks!

Posted by NRT at November 26, 2006 08:35 PM
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