Action promised over ‘hazard’ caused by faulty town centre traffic bollards

Pedestrians in a town centre are being placed at risk due to drivers taking advantage off an automatic traffic bollard fault, it has been claimed.

Wakefield Council and police have promised to clampdown on drivers entering a pedestrianised area in Pontefract.

Complaints to the local authority have been made since barriers on Beastfair and Market Place stopped working.

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The town centre is supposed to be closed to vehicles, except for permit holders, between 10am and 4pm every day.

Wakefield Council and police have promised to clampdown on drivers entering a pedestrianised area in Pontefract.Wakefield Council and police have promised to clampdown on drivers entering a pedestrianised area in Pontefract.
Wakefield Council and police have promised to clampdown on drivers entering a pedestrianised area in Pontefract.

But the bollards stopping it from being used as a throughfare are permanently down due to a fault.

Yvette Cooper, who is standing for re-election as the town’s MP on July 4, said she had been contacted by residents concerned over vehicles being driven through the area on a regular basis.

She said: “Some cars are going down there by accident because they don’t see the signs and the bollards are down, but lots of drivers know the rules but are ignoring them.

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“We’ve got parents with small children or prams having to dodge to avoid cars and vans.

“That’s why I’m urging the council to act as quickly as possible.”

Police also have powers to take action against drivers who violate the rules.

Ms Cooper added: “I’m also calling on the government to grant Wakefield Council the powers so that its officers can take enforcement action against those who are breaking the rules.”

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Joe Jenkinson, Wakefield Council’s service director for planning, transportation and strategic highways, said: “It’s a priority for us to replace the bollards on Beastfair and Market Place in Pontefract.

“We’ll do the work as soon as we can.

“At the moment we expect it to be completed later this summer.

Drivers should not be ignoring the legal restrictions by driving on the precinct.

“That is totally unacceptable and we will work with West Yorkshire Police to take robust action when they do.

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“That will include issuing fines to vehicles that are illegally parked in the area.

“We’re closely monitoring the situation, but we’d also encourage anyone who sees an illegally parked vehicle to contact us on 0345 8 506 506.”

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