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Bollards installed as part of the controversial Barkingside ‘Quiet Streets’ trial are to be removed after causing delays for emergency services.
The trial began last month and saw temporary road blocks installed on residential streets to funnel cars down main roads instead, inspired by Waltham Forest’s ‘Mini-Holland’ scheme.
It is planned to last until roughly the end of the year, according to the council’s cabinet member for civic pride, when the council will consult on whether the changes should be permanent.
In an email seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the ward’s Labour councillor said the council will switch to enforcing road blocks using cameras.
Cllr Martin Sachs (Lab, Barkingside) wrote: “I can confirm that, in response to the difficulties the emergency services have been experiencing, the bollards at the planters will be removed and cameras will be used to enforce the closures.
“I do not yet have a timescale for this but I am pressing for this to happen as quickly as possible.”
On Saturday October 3, the London Fire Brigade were delayed attending an incident in Mulberry Way after the wrong lock was used on a bollard, meaning the padlock had to be smashed open.
It is not known whether all the bollards will be removed from the Barkingside South trial area or only a select number and how drivers who ignore closures will be penalised.
Those opposed to the trial, more than 4,000 of whom have signed a petition to end it, believe it will increase congestion and accidents on the roads.
A similar trial is currently ongoing in the Cranbrook West area of Redbridge but has attracted far less opposition, with fewer than 1,000 people signing a petition to end the trial there.
Redbridge Council has yet to respond to a request for comment on the decision.