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Bus bollards lowered for a year
7:27am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
BOLLARDS that delayed an ambulance crew trying to reach a sick two-year-old are to remain lowered for a total of a year.
The bus gate at Yew Tree Drive in Whiteley – open since March because of M27 roadworks – will remain open for 12 months, after planners agreed to add a threemonth trial.
More than 250 residents wrote in support of the plan, which will test how lowering the bollards affects traffic and assess what would happen if they were permanently opened.
The bollards are currently lowered while repair works take place to the M27 at junction nine.
These works are expected to be completed in December and a formal trial period of three months would begin in January 2014.
A council report stated that while it is open, authorities will be monitoring traffic and queue lengths, analysing accident statistics and air quality, and monitoring noise levels.
Mitigation measures would include speed restrictions on Yew Tree Drive, improvements to pedestrian crossings, enforcement of parking restrictions and restrictions on HGVs Speed reductions measures are also planned for Swanwick Lane and Botley Road.
The issue of the bollards was highlighted back in February when two-year-old Harry Rudge suffered a suspected allergic reaction, but paramedics were forced to add minutes to their journey because the ambulance had been routed to the bus gate by its satnav. Unlike local crews, they did not have the device needed to lower the bollards.
This was the fourth incident of this kind in four years.
More than 2,600 residents and businesses responded to a consultation on lowering the bollards, with 83 per cent in favour of the trial.
Reasons included claims that lowering the bollards would reduce travel time, improve traffic flow and highway safety, cut pollution and provide better access for emergency vehicles.
Thirteen objection letters highlighted that the bus lane had already been opened for monitoring the traffic, that there was congestion as a result and people were using Yew Tree Drive to avoid the motorway.
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