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Fury as Kidlington high street’s rising bollard is delayed yet again
A COMMUNITY is said to be “absolutely furious” at the latest setback of the installation of a rising bollard in a village high street.
There were hopes that work on the bollard, in Kidlington High Street, would start on Monday – more than two years after the shopping street was pedestrianised.
Yesterday District council spokesman Tony Ecclestone confirmed that Oxfordshire County Council as highways authroity had still not given them the go-ahead.
Kidlington Parish Council chairman David Betts said he was extremely frustrated by the lack of progress.
He said: “The parish council is absolutely furious that nobody has taken hold of this issue and just got on with it.
“I haven’t the foggiest idea when it will be completed. We were told May 7 and then July 7 and now I don’t know what is going on.
“I have always expected Cherwell District Council to deliver and they have failed to do so.”
It was in June that Cherwell District Council told the Oxford Mail it was awaiting this approval from the county council.
This came after the fire service said they were happy with changes to the bollard, which would allow them easier access to the street.
Martin Crabtree, spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We have already been in contact with the district council’s consultants to discuss this matter and they understand that we will carry out the necessary audit in the next few weeks as resources and work on other priorities allow.”
The bollard would rise to limit access to the High Street between 10am and 4.30pm, but residents and businesses would be able to gain access using a swipe card.
Robert Windle, owner of Robert’s Discount in the High Street, said the delay was having a negative effect on disabled and elderly people in the village.
He said: “It is making everybody so frustrated.
“There are old age pensioners and disabled people who make an effort to park around the corner away from the High Street and then they come into the High Street and find cars parked there.
“It’s got to the stage now where people are deliberately walking down the middle of the street to annoy motorists.
“The idea was to create a pedestrianised area where people could walk around and enjoy the sunshine and cafes and it would create a better shopping experience but that hasn’t happened.”
Parish councillor Tim Emptage said the delays were having a negative effect on people in Kidlington.
He said: “You only need to look at the High Street and you will see cars parked there.
“The whole point of having the pedestrian area there is to clear an area for people to shop and socialise, which is impossible with cars going up and down the road.
“The whole project has been one of continual delays, meanwhile people in Kidlington are suffering as a result.”
County councillor for South Kidlington Maurice Billington said: “I have spent months chasing both Cherwell District Council and the county council about this.
“It’s ridiculous it’s taken so long to get it sorted but what I’m hearing now is work will start by the end of this month.
“I wouldn’t put my house on it, but I think it will get sorted.”
Mr Billington said anyone with concerns about the project could get in touch with him directly or speak to either the district council or the county council.
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