Vehicles scraped and traffic chaos after width-restriction bollards moved
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Motorists have been left with a choice of to risk scratching their vehicles or to cause chaos by reversing, after width-restriction bollards were moved in Hampstead.
The measures in Church Row have been adjusted after Camden Council received complaints about HGVs scraping against parked cars.
But now car drivers are struggling to get down the road, and hubcaps lost to the bollards are propped up on the pavement.
In 30 minutes on Monday (July 19) the Ham&High counted eight vehicles turning around and five getting scratched.
Brian Freedman, of nearby Bracknell Gardens, said: “It's just crazy because unless you drive a really small car, it's virtually impossible to get through.
“I've seen cars reversing back. I’ve seen countless cars getting their wing mirrors bumped or scratched.”
The width restrictions were installed last week, and have been relocated 20 metres east along Church Row.
The narrow placement and the angle vehicles approach the pinch point are both catching out drivers.
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Lukasz Wrzosinski, a contractor working on a project on Church Row, is one of those whose van felt the effects of the new bollards.
He said: “I scraped the side of my van trying to get through here a few days ago. I tried to fit but I just couldn’t. I then had to reverse and go all the way around.
“I was also here on Saturday for 15 or 20 minutes, and I saw three or four cars scrape against the bollards. One scrape was massive – all down the side of the car. It was really bad. It was a brand-new Mercedes GL as well.”
A local council worker who declined to be named said it is “the size of the cars and the quality of driving” that are causing the scrapes. However, the council worker’s van then scraped against the bollards while trying to drive through.
A Camden Council spokesperson said the one bollard had since been moved slightly to increase the width restriction on the eastbound side of the road.
They said: "Following reports that certain vehicles were struggling to fit through, the eastbound restriction was enlarged slightly to better match the curvature in the road on Monday 19 July.
“Whilst we are continuing to monitor the situation, we are confident that emergency vehicles can pass while unsuitable HGV traffic is stopped.”
UPDATED July 20, 6.10pm: This story originally included a statement from Camden Council, saying one of the bollards was leaning and would be adjusted. The council has since amended its statement to say that a bollard was moved after vehicles were unable to get through.