FIREFIGHTERS were forced to remove an LTN bollard in order to attend an incident in Cowley.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Clive Road on Tuesday, but had to cut down a previously damaged bollard to get to the scene.
It comes as last week, Oxfordshire County Council revealed it has spent £12,000 replacing vandalized LTN bollards since they were introduced in East Oxford on May 20.
The Cowley LTNs started operating in March 2021, with the trial scheme extended to Divinity Road, St Clement’s and St Mary’s in East Oxford last month.
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A county council spokesperson confirmed the Clive Road bollard was cut down by firefighters.
The spokesperson said: “The fire and rescue service responded to an incident in Clive Road on June 21 and had to cut down a bollard that had previously been damaged.
“The damage affected the mechanism which would allow it to normally be removed using a key.
“The fire and rescue service kept us informed and we will now assess what repairs can be made and install a replacement bollard.”
Addressing the cost in replacing vandalized bollards and planters, the spokesperson continued: “Damage to traffic filters around East Oxford is creating significant safety concerns, as well as a substantial cost to the taxpayer.
“The costs for damage to bollards and planters has now topped £12,000 since the measures were launched on May 20.
“We continue to urge residents and road users to engage constructively with our consultation on the trial low traffic neighborhoods in East Oxford.”
Anyone wishing to express their opinion on the measures should use the local authority’s online public consultation, the council spokesperson added.
Amir Steve Ali, who ran as an Independent candidate in May’s Oxford City Council elections, saw the fire service at the scene in Clive Road.
He said: “I was going to Cowley center when I saw the fire brigade was there – it looked like a minor incident.
“You can see the bollard’s been removed – they obviously spent time doing this, wasting time in an emergency when they could’ve got their sooner.
“I’m guessing they were in Rymers Lane and wanted to get to Clive Road, but they couldn’t get down there.
“Every second counts for the emergency services, it could be an ambulance going to a stabbing.
“I’ve seen ambulances reversing in the road in the past because they can’t get down somewhere within an LTN.
“It needs to be factored in for the emergency services – we don’t know when we’ll need them.
“If they arrive on time, they save lives, but delays put lives at risk – it’s really serious.”
The county council, which oversees the fire service, was unable to confirm the severity of the incident upon publication.
The local authority’s consultation can be found at: letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/east-oxford-ltns-2022
This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.
Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.
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