Ten cars and police van smashed into ‘traffic calming post’ in just FOUR weeks


TEN cars and a police van have smashed into a traffic calming post in just four weeks as the “nightmare” scheme wreaks havoc.

The residential road in Watford, Herts, was narrowed to just 7ft with two 2ft-high bollards either side a decade ago to stop HGVs using the road.

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The road has been narrowed to just 7ftCredit: Deadline
A number of cars have been getting stuck

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A number of cars have been getting stuckCredit: Deadline
This car lost a tyre to the restrictions

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This car lost a tyre to the restrictionsCredit: Deadline

Residents say they have been trying to get the restrictions altered for years but have not had much luck.

Tim Vigor, who says hundreds of cars and vans have crashed since, has now set up cameras to show just how bad the issue is.

And the 52-year-old HGV driver captured vehicle after vehicle crashing into the kerb and the bollards.

Some vehicles approach the narrow lane at speed whilst some crawl through – yet all end up in the same situation, as they mount the kerb on the passenger side and are stopped in their tracks by the bollard.

This causes all the vehicles to bounce up on their passenger side due to the impact – with one of the cars doing so at such force that smoke pours out of the bonnet.

Councillors and representatives of the National Highways have reportedly visited the site but Tim says little is being done.

Speaking today, Tim said: “What they did when they altered this width restriction is that they put the posts directly in line with the kerb. 

“They didn’t set them back off the kerb, six inches or so into the pavement.

“My next door neighbour’s got a drop kerb so when cars approach the width restriction they don’t know whether they’re on the road or the pavement.

“So as you approach, if you are on the pavement, the first you know about it is when you go up the first kerb straight into the post. That’s why all the vehicles are taking off on one side.”

He added: “Every day there’s something out on my driveway because every day, something hits it.”

Watford Council said a width restriction of seven-feet was first introduced in Woodmere Avenue in March 1980.

The council said the width restrictions sustained damage, however, and, in February 2011, stiffened posts were installed to “resist vehicle strikes and reduce maintenance costs”.

The council said these posts would “restrict any vehicle which is over 7ft in width”. 

The bollards were initially 1.3 metres tall, but were reduced to 73cm in 2011. 

Drivers do have to take responsibility for knowing the width of their vehicle and navigating the restriction at a safe speed.

Hertfordshire County Council

The area was visited by Hertfordshire County councillor Stephen Cavinder and Dave Swan from the council’s highways department on September 21.

But in the past four weeks, 11 vehicles, including a police van, have crashed into the island and steel bollards on the road.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “The width restrictions on Woodmere Avenue are there to discourage drivers, particularly of large and heavy vehicles, from using this residential road as a through route, while allowing buses to use the road as normal.

“We are aware that some local residents have been unhappy with the width restriction, and we have reviewed and improved the white lines and signage around the restriction to make sure drivers are well aware of the upcoming width restriction.

“There are also two other routes in to Woodmere Avenue, without width restrictions, for vehicles which are too wide or for drivers who choose not to go through the width restriction for whatever reason.

“The location does not meet the criteria for inclusion in our safety engineering programme, and drivers do have to take responsibility for knowing the width of their vehicle and navigating the restriction at a safe speed.

“Officers continue to liaise with stakeholders to consider options and the reported issues at this location.”

The council has the restrictions are there to stop big vehicles using the road as a through route

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The council has the restrictions are there to stop big vehicles using the road as a through routeCredit: Deadline
The road is just 7ft wide with bollards either side

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The road is just 7ft wide with bollards either sideCredit: Deadline
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