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Safety scheme ‘ineffective’ now Crown Way bollards are gone

The current system in place on Crown Way junction, after removal of the bollards.

A £25,000 road safety scheme in Gabalfa has become ineffective since bollards were removed a week after they were installed, according to a councillor.  

The layout narrowed the junction by creating two hatched zones lined with bollards to slow down vehicles turning left from Whitchurch Road on to Crown Way.  

However, large vehicles found it impossible to manoeuvre the junction without colliding with the bollards, forcing them to be removed.

The bollards were damaged after being hit by larger vehicles attempting to turn down the narrowed junction. Photo by Michael Goddard.

Rhys Taylor, councillor for Gabalfa, said that removing the bollards greatly limited the scheme’s effectiveness.  

“This is why we’re frustrated. Cars are just driving across the white lines. Responsible road users won’t. But the people who cut the corners aren’t the responsible road users, which is why it’s an issue,” he said.  

The left turn from Whitchurch Road onto Crown Way showing the hatched zones which some drivers continue to cut across.

The route is used by a Cardiff Met University bus service and a number of Cardiff Bus routes including services to Cathays High School.  

Cardiff Bus said it is not able to re-route existing services that use the junction.  

During the planning stage, vehicle track runs showed the junction would be tight for larger vehicles but the council was happy to introduce the bollards and monitor the location.  

However, the council said the same analysis post-removal revealed it would be unsuitable to place bollards anywhere on the junction.  

“It sounds as if no one did analysis and put the system in without checking if it was suitable. They cannot have followed all procedure or processes if they are now saying they cannot do anything,” said Coun Taylor.  

The limited effectiveness of the scheme has been recognised by residents and local business owners.  

“It was odd that they did it. I think there was loads of things they could have done with the money – and that’s why I’m fed up,” said business manager Lisa Dominguez, 51, of Pontprennau. 

Last year, a similar issue arose when the junction between Maitland Street and Whitchurch Road was made too narrow, forcing some cars to drive over the pavement.  

Local councillors hope to continue working with Cardiff council officers to improve the safety of the Crown Way junction for pedestrians and cyclists.  

“I don’t know how they got it quite so wrong. It is not something we’re going to drop. We’re going to keep on at it,” said Coun Taylor.

Cardiff Council has been asked whether the use of bollards was appropriate and if it has plans to change the system.

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