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Laurence Inman’s Blog

A LOAD OF BOLLARDS – PART TWO

07-02-2009

“It’s not what you know…” muses Laurence Inman, as he sees his posh neighbours enjoy the benefit of traffic-free roads. ‘Temporary’ bollards designed to eradicate kerb crawling have even been upgraded – although the original problem has long since disappeared.

It is possible to own the road outside your house, if you know how to go about it.

Bollards have been placed at strategic sites on the west side of Moseley Road, effectively closing off certain roads to through traffic. Park Hill and Chantry Road are the main beneficiaries, adding tens of thousands of pounds to the value of houses there, many of them huge Victorian detached piles.

In order to forestall accusations of blatant favouritism (or worse) a story has been put about that the area was blighted by prostitution and the barriers have stopped kerb-crawlers.

There was a big problem on the other side of Moseley Road, but this has been dealt with by local residents, often at personal risk to themselves, with no help from friendly councillors or officials.

Even if the official version is true, it means that a lucky group of influential residents now enjoy the advantages of having their roads gated off (at our expense and still inflicting their own traffic on everyone else) because they didn’t like the look of the people who were driving past their houses.

Oh, and the twice-daily rush-hour rat-run to avoid the lights in Moseley village had also disappeared, but this, of course, was just coincidental.

Last week a councillor admitted that the ‘prostitute problem’ has now ‘moved on.’ But the bollards won’t come down because the locals quite like them. He suggested that if I don’t like it I should get up a petition, among the residents of Park Hill only, to have them removed.

And then (I’m not making this up) he went on to say that they could then come round to my road and petition to get rid of the speed-bumps.

I must have heard more fatuous things coming out of someone’s mouth. I just can’t remember when. But, to descend to that level of argument for a second, they can have my speed-bumps any day, if I can have their bollards. (‘My’ speed-bumps don’t slow the traffic, you see.)

Some readers will be familiar with all this from previous articles of mine.

The bollards have been in place now for some years.

I bring it up again because they appear to have been replaced by more up-to-date models. Or they might just have been repaired. They were looking a bit scruffy.

How did this happen, I wondered ?

Did they just phone up ?

‘Hallo. You know those temporary bollards which have been at the bottom of Park Hill for some years ? We want them replaced.’

‘Certainly. I’ll have a gang round there straightaway. Is there any particular time you won’t want the noise of hammers and drills spoiling your afternoon ?’

‘Yes. The afternoons. And could you send workmen who don’t smoke or swear ? We’re very sensitive round here.’

‘Okey-dokey.’

‘Thank you, my man.’

To see “A Load Of Bollards – Part One” click here

And to read Laurence’s original expose of “Bollardgate” click here

DO RESIDENTS IN SOME STREETS GET FAVOURABLE TREATMENT BECAUSE THEY’RE POSH OR HAVE INFLUENTIAL FRIENDS? DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

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