Church Row bollards must be moved, says Hampstead family

Natalie Spencer

Siblings Nick and Sue scratched their car on the Church Row bollards - Credit: Nick

A Hampstead family is calling for Camden Council to widen the Church Row bollards after their car was scratched, joining a series of angry drivers who have been affected.

Nick, 25, who asked to be referred to by a pseudonym, was driving his Range Rover Evoque through the width restrictions on September 1 with his 23-year-old sister Sue when the pair struggled to get through the barriers and hit the bollard.

The property developer said he now faces a bill of £1,000 to remove the "huge" scratch on his car and will be taking his claim to the council.

In July, width restrictions in Church Row were adjusted after the Camden received complaints about HGVs scraping against parked cars

However, the new restrictions are continuing to prove problematic, with 88-year-old Michael Daniels now saying he is considering legal action after the council rejected his damages claim.

A council spokesperson said the authority is "confident that emergency vehicles and resident’s vehicles are able to pass through safely" and are "continuing to review feedback from local residents".

Nick told the Ham&High: "When I was driving through, I was adamant that I was clear, but the angle is so bizarre. I've never had a problem there before.

"I've done that route so many times, but this time my wheel kept catching the bollard.

"There was no way to get through it. I couldn't steer right as it was too narrow."

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After the council initially moving the bollards in July, the Ham&High counted eight vehicles turning around and five getting scratched in just 30 minutes.

In response, Camden Council spokesperson said one bollard had been moved slightly to increase the width restriction on the eastbound side of the road. 

John Spencer scraped car

The Range Rover Evoque was scratched by the Hampstead width restrictions - Credit: Nick

"It doesn't seem correct, and I don't think the problem has been resolved" Nick said.

"Keeping vans out shouldn't be to the detriment of normal road users.

"If they're changing it, how can the council say it's not their fault?

"You'd think that was an admission of guilt."

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “Width restrictions were introduced on Church Row to prevent HGV traffic from using the narrow road and causing damage.

"We have recently widened the eastbound restriction to better match the curvature of the road and, while we are confident that emergency vehicles and resident’s vehicles are able to pass through safely in both directions, we are continuing to review feedback from local residents."