Oxford's ongoing Low-traffic neighbourhood vandalism problem reached "another level" this week as a gang of hooded vandals melted one of the traffic-calming bollards in an arson attack.
Cllr Damian Haywood said the latest escalation is "absolutely disgraceful" after the bollards in Howard Street and Barnet Street were set on fire overnight on Sunday. Previously, some of the city's newly-installed LTN bollards and planters were vandalised less than 24 hours after installation.
'Human bollards', including Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Gant, had also stepped in on Howard Street after repeated vandalism.
But now vandals have resorted to burning the barrier, leaving the street impassable due to the melted wreckage.
Slow hand clap to the person who set the Howard Street and Barnet bollards on fire last night. Bollards have melted to road and road is impassable in a car unless you wish to wreck your chassis. #LTN pic.twitter.com/QO1vHzPNqs
— Josie Procter 🔶 (@JosieProc) July 4, 2022
"I'd like to think it was just a couple of, for want of a better expression, idiots," Cllr Haywood told BBC Radio Oxford.
Arsonists melted down two bollards in East Oxford, which were being used as part of a controversial traffic-calming scheme.
Cllr Damian Haywood said a hooded gang melting the bollards was "on another level" of dissent against the schemes.
— BBC Radio Oxford (@BBCOxford) July 4, 2022
"This is just on another level, they are really concerned now that people are taking to arson to express their views and express their dislike of the bollards. It's absolutely disgraceful.
"We won't be defeated by this. We are absolutely adamant that this trial will go ahead and we will continue to replace the bollards where we need to."
A sign telling drivers the "cones are there to protect your chassis" covered the burnt bollard briefly before being removed.
Attempting to protect cars (who shouldn’t be driving through anyway) from damage if they do. Of course the sign has been taken down. Why is it that we as a community care more about other peoples cars than the anti LTN lot?! Baffling. https://t.co/WrHl5iyZ2Y pic.twitter.com/XyLu039raQ
— Josie Procter 🔶 (@JosieProc) July 5, 2022
Main image: Josie Procter
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.