News, Culture & Society

Sadiq’s war on cars: How motorists are secretly taking down cycle-friendly bollards

Drivers have been turning to guerilla tactics to battle against London’s increasing number of cycle-lanes as some shared tips online for how to remove road bollards, it was revealed today.

A social media user, with the handle @BobfromAccounts, tweeted out a photograph of a missing bollard on Cleveland Road in London earlier this week.

Tweeting Islington Council, they wrote: ‘Someone appears to have commandeered your centre bollard on Cleveland Rd. Cue drivers reading the signs but ignoring them.’

A photograph showed the central bollard had been removed from its socket to leave a space wide enough for a car to pass through.

In other cycle-friendly London news: 

  • Wooden seats and cycle bays called ‘Parklets’ quietly replaced parking spaces as authorities continue to exploit the Covid-19 crisis in their war against motorists; 
  • The Euston Road bike lane, brought in to try to ease congestion, was removed after less than six months because it had completely the opposite effect; 
  • Footage showed a fire engine stuck in a cycle-lane road block in Ferndale, south London, forcing firefighters to walk to the nearby incident; 
  • The AA criticised Hammersmith and Fulham council for slapping motorists who drove down five residential roads with £130 fines unless they had a permit.

A photograph taken on Cleveland Road, Islington, showed the central bollard – in place to stop motor vehicles using the road – had been removed from its socket to leave a space wide enough for a car to pass through

A social media user, with the handle @BobfromAccounts, tweeted out a photograph of Cleveland Road in London earlier this week

A social media user, with the handle @BobfromAccounts, tweeted out a photograph of Cleveland Road in London earlier this week

A red sign next to the bollards  in Islington read: ‘Road closed except cycles.’

Another social media user, Talia Hussein, posted comments she had seen in a Facebook group underneath the original post. The group appeared to be used by drivers to plot against London’s cycle-friendly roads.

Barry Zudagos wrote: ‘All the keys are available at your local locksmith. Open the gates, lock them open, and then superglue and small washers in the key holes.

‘In the removable post holes put concrete from your local building merchants (sets in 15 minutes).’

Others shared how keys for the bollards’ locks could be bought online for £8.99. One asked if they would have to pay for postage, while another added they had used Amazon Prime – which meant free next day delivery.

Barry Zudagos revealed keys for the bollards were available at locksmiths. He advised others to superglue the gates open and fill the hole with cement

Barry Zudagos revealed keys for the bollards were available at locksmiths. He advised others to superglue the gates open and fill the hole with cement

Others revealed a full set of keys could be bought on Amazon for £8.99. Someone else asked if they would have to pay postage

Others revealed a full set of keys could be bought on Amazon for £8.99. Someone else asked if they would have to pay postage

Another social media user, Talia Hussein, posted comments she had seen in a Facebook group underneath the original post. The group appeared to be used by drivers to plot against London's cycle-friendly roads

Another social media user, Talia Hussein, posted comments she had seen in a Facebook group underneath the original post. The group appeared to be used by drivers to plot against London’s cycle-friendly roads

MailOnline has tracked down photographs from across the capital showing empty spaces where bollards once stood.

It appears drivers have taken it upon themselves to remove the blockades using keys available at locksmiths and online.

The tactics come as Sadiq Khan was criticised for his plan to make London more cycle-friendly amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Some 1,400 miles of new cycle lanes have been introduced since the pandemic began, but many have gone unused and brought gridlock to towns and cities where private car use has remained high.

Opposition is growing against emergency active travel schemes featuring pop-up bike lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods.

A bollard for a cycle way on the Hoskins Street and Maze Hill junction had been torn down by vandals along the Thames Path

A bollard for a cycle way on the Hoskins Street and Maze Hill junction had been torn down by vandals along the Thames Path

Now people have been accused of taking matters into their own hands, by removing bollards put in place to turn roads into cycle lanes. Pictured, a social media user Tweeted an image of a missing bollard in Hackney, London

Now people have been accused of taking matters into their own hands, by removing bollards put in place to turn roads into cycle lanes. Pictured, a social media user Tweeted an image of a missing bollard in Hackney, London

A Twitter account called Ealing One posted a video showing a worker kicking down a bollard in order to get his van through

A Twitter account called Ealing One posted a video showing a worker kicking down a bollard in order to get his van through

One Twitter account wrote: 'No matter how many times local residents put this bollard back in place until the lock is replaced every time it is stolen this won't be a working school street'. Pictured, the bollard was cast aside on the Greenwich street

One Twitter account wrote: ‘No matter how many times local residents put this bollard back in place until the lock is replaced every time it is stolen this won’t be a working school street’. Pictured, the bollard was cast aside on the Greenwich street

Some councils have removed or reduced the projects following accusations they were causing congestion.

And now people have been accused of taking matters into their own hands, by removing bollards put in place to turn roads into cycle lanes.

One Twitter account wrote: ‘No matter how many times local residents put this bollard back in place until the lock is replaced every time it is stolen this won’t be a working school street.’

Another, posting another image of a missing bollard at a different location, said: ‘Hi @hackneycouncil. I noticed a bollard has been removed from Duncan Road leading into Broadway Market.’ 

Ron Horn said: ‘@hackneycouncil again the bollards at Frampton Park Road and Loddgies road have been vandalised.’ 

Carol Hartfree tweeted a photograph of cyclists and an ambulance at Richmond Park on November 8. She wrote: 'I'm generally in favour of the road closures in #richmondpark but this needs thinking through more'

Carol Hartfree tweeted a photograph of cyclists and an ambulance at Richmond Park on November 8. She wrote: ‘I’m generally in favour of the road closures in #richmondpark but this needs thinking through more’

Ron Horn said: '@hackneycouncil again the bollards at Frampton Park Road and Loddgies road have been vandalised'

Ron Horn said: ‘@hackneycouncil again the bollards at Frampton Park Road and Loddgies road have been vandalised’

Others have complained the bollards are dangerous because they prevent emergency service vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances getting through cities quickly.

Covid blitz on drivers: What’s happening across Britain?

  • Bristol: Council has pedestrianised parts of city and suspended parking. Bristol Bridge has been closed to private vehicles.
  • Bath: Motorists are banned from using key city roads from 10am to 6pm.
  • West London: Several roads have been closed in Ealing to give people more room to socially distance.
  • Bolton: Seven roads shut in the city centre to aid social distancing.
  • Colchester: High street closed to cars. 
  • Ludlow, Shropshire: High street closed to traffic between 10am and 3pm.
  • Wigan: Pedestrian zone times extended so they run from 9am to 5pm. 

Carol Hartfree tweeted a photograph of cyclists and an ambulance at Richmond Park on November 8. She wrote: ‘I’m generally in favour of the road closures in #richmondpark but this need thinking through more. People had to kick out bollards to let the @Ldn_Ambulance through to the cyclist injured down on Broomfield Hill.’

A Twitter account called Ealing One posted a video showing a worker kicking down a bollard in order to get his van through. 

The account wrote: ‘After 10 weeks, @ealingcouncil we still have significant safety incidents with LTNs (a potential near miss). Surely this has to be the last chance. – a fire engine cannot fit between planters (this morning, this truck couldn’t pass at Midhurst/S) – bollards & locks are stuck.’

MailOnline has approached Islington and Hackney councils for comment. 

Elsewhere, parking spaces are being quietly replaced by Covid-friendly seats and cycle bays called ‘Parklets’ as authorities continue to exploit the Covid-19 crisis in their war against Britain’s motorists. 

The troublesome wooden structures extend off the curbs into two parking spaces to give pedestrians more space.  

Fans claim they can give businesses extra space for customers living under Tier 2 restrictions to wait or eat and drink outside with other people. 

But many cities including London, already groaning under Low Traffic Neighbourhood measures, have been colder in their acceptance of the new structures.

Design company Meristem have so far set up their parklets in Hammersmith Grove, Shoreditch and Ealing in the capital to the frustration of motorists who are already grappling with Sadiq Khan’s drastic anti-car curbs.  

Parklets are put into parking spaces and extend the pavement out onto the street

Parklets are put into parking spaces and extend the pavement out onto the street 

Parklets have become incredibly popular in London but many motorists are not fans

Parklets have become incredibly popular in London but many motorists are not fans

The fire engine became blocked as it attempted to enter a road which has been shut off to motorised vehicles

Firefighters had to continue on foot after it became trapped between a planter and a car

The fire engine became blocked as it attempted to enter a road which has been shut off to motorised vehicles. Firefighters had to continue on foot after it became trapped between a planter and a car

Less than six months after Transport for London announced a series of measures to cut traffic in the Capital, the Euston Road bike lane is set to be removed. 

Pop-up cycle lanes on either side of Euston Road were opened by TfL in July, with 20mph speed limits for passing motorists, but just three months later, London’s transport commissioner announced it would be removed.

The lanes were set to be removed in late 2021 as part of the HS2 project, but they’re due to be cut short a year earlier than expected.

It came as footage emerged showing a blue-lit emergency vehicle wedged between a wooden planter and a parked white car in Ferndale, south London.

As firefighters ditch the vehicle and make the short walk to the nearby incident, one angry resident can be heard raging against the scheme, saying: ‘You are trying to say this is good for us?’

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has introduced a new scheme only allowing local residents to drive through certain roads. A sign above warns of the 'new camera enforcement controls'

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has introduced a new scheme only allowing local residents to drive through certain roads. A sign above warns of the ‘new camera enforcement controls’

No vehicles except permit holders are allowed past the areas marked with a white circle bordered in red. The circles are where the cameras are which enforce the permit-only drivers

No vehicles except permit holders are allowed past the areas marked with a white circle bordered in red. The circles are where the cameras are which enforce the permit-only drivers

Residents across Britain continue to slam the implementation of so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) – which have been used by councils to wage war on motorists under the government’s controversial Active Travel project.

The scheme, which has been introduced to allow for social distancing amid on footpaths and cycle during the coronavirus pandemic, has caused controversy as many believe it is being implemented to ‘punish’ motorists.

In Hammersmith and Fulham drivers have been fined £130 for driving through areas open only to those with a permit. 

The public roads are fiercely guarded by cameras, which photograph number-plates to ensure only those with a permit drive down.

The scheme, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, turned the area into a no-go zone for motorcyclists and drivers alike.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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