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Out-of-action bollard is a ‘danger’ to Uttoxeter shoppers

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UTTOXETER’S rising bollard left out of operation due to monitoring issues is ‘causing a danger to pedestrians’ as motorists take a short cut, councillors have said.

Uttoxeter Town Council agreed to contact Staffordshire County Council to find out when the bollard in High Street will be back in working order over concerns of a traffic increase in the High Street, particularly with Carter’s Square now being open.

The bollard has been down since August last year after East Staffordshire Borough Council said it could no longer fund the CCTV monitoring the bollard.

Since then discussions have been ongoing between to two authorities to reach an agreement - along with the bollards at either end of the High Street in nearby Burton.

Councillor Cathy Graham said: “I think we need to tie the council down now to find out when it will be in working order again. We are in danger of having big problems if they don’t sort it out one way or another.

“The bollard was working to a degree for the High Street and it should remain in place until any other bright ideas are come up with for something else.

“Parking should not be encouraged or allowed down the High Street.”

Councillor Andrew Riley added: “I have got concerns that a lot of people are taking sort cuts down the High Street and parking there. We have not got any power to control it.

“We are all aware the bollard is not in the right place.

“We need to get the bollard working again as soon as possible.”

Councillor Allan Chapman added that people who do drive down the High Street between 10am and 4pm are breaking the law unless they have ‘a very good reason’.

He said: “I am still partially weary of the bollard as traffic will still come down the High Street as we cannot stop it but the motorists just drive through it at the moment.”

In a letter to the town council, Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said an agreement regarding the monitoring of the town bollard had now been reached between the two authorities but he did not indicate when it will be back in working order.

The letter said: “I write with reference to your letter regarding the rising bollard in High Street, Uttoxeter.

“As you may be aware, the maintenance of the bollard is the responsibility of Staffordshire County Council and the CCTV monitoring, East Staffordshire Borough Council.

“In August 2013 I received notification from East Staffordshire Borough Council that following a CCTV review it had been decided that unless Staffordshire County Council agreed to fund the operation they could no longer be able to provide the service.

“If a monitoring service is not provided, then the bollard cannot be operational and would have to be lowered.

“My officers and I have worked closely with members and officers from East Staffordshire Borough Council over the past couple of months and I am happy to report the East Staffordshire Borough Council will now continue to provide the service.

“Obviously I will keep you informed of any changes if they occur.”

However, a Staffordshire County Council spokesman said the bollard is currently still not in operation and discussions are still on-going with East Staffordshire Borough Council about monitoring them.

The spokesman added that the authority had not been made aware of any issues regarding the traffic.

Uttoxeter Town Council will now write to the county council asking for some indication of when the bollard will be up and running again.

All of the councillors present at the meeting agreed that this would be the best course of action.

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