A newly installed car park barrier painted bright yellow to make it obvious to motorists has been badly damaged… after it was reportedly mowed down by an unwitting ice cream truck.
The barrier at Shoebury East Beach has only recently been put up after a previous structure had also suffered extensive damage when it was struck by a vehicle.
But best efforts to make the bright, new barrier as obvious as possible have been in vain, and Southend City Council estimates repairs will cost around £4,000.
Reports suggest it was struck by an ice cream truck earlier this week, with the collision causing parts of the metal structure to sheer off completely.
Shoebury Independent councillor Steven Wakefield said: “Someone drove into it. I believe it was an ice cream van. It must be a convertible now.
“The height barrier was hit before so it was repaired and painted bright yellow to bring it to people’s attention.
“You’d be very hard-pressed to miss it but it’s taken the post out completely.
“I’m going to see if we can do something different. It’s not usable at the moment.”
Cllr Wakefield added: “It was there to prevent travellers so we need to replace it as quickly as possible. It’s a major concern.
“Hopefully someone will do the right thing and claim on their insurance.”
Southend Council says it will try to claim against the vehicle responsible.
A spokesman added: “The repairs have been ordered through the council’s contractor and will be fixed in accordance with the council’s contract, within 90 days.”
East Beach has suffered a number of incidents which have caused damage in recent months, including picnic tables and bins being set alight by disposable barbecues.
Peter Lovett, vice chairman of the Shoeburyness Residents Association, said: “Every time someone does something damaging like this it is taking money away from East Beach.”
A spokeswoman from the East Beach Residents Association said: “We were informed about the damage at the weekend. We are not sure how the damage was caused, but are very glad that our local councillor has made a commitment to a speedy repair.”