Protesters took to the streets today to declare: ‘What a load of bollards!’
They are demanding that 136 bollards newly installed on Front Street in Acomb are removed – and are replaced with a more community friendly upgrade of the area.
The campaign began when Vicki Hill posted on Facebook at her despair at the march of the bollards.
And now more than 800 people have signed an online petition, which is likely to top 1,000 when paper signatures are added.
Today (Saturday), Vicki was joined by fellow campaigners on Front Street to keep the pressure on.
They set up a stall and decorated the bollards with crocheted skulls. Labels with people’s comments on the scheme were also added.
One said: “This could have been a beautiful, accessible living space, and instead it’s an ugly inaccessible eyesore that no one wants to spend time in.”
The bollards are part of a £395K Front Street project, funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
“I’m furious. And I’m also really, really sad,” said Vicki. “Because so much could have been done with that money – £400,000 would have transformed this area, which is buzzing and happy and open, but tatty.
“So the consultation came around and everybody asked for open level paving for our disabled and vulnerable people.
“Everybody wanted benches, outside seating for the cafes, some trees and that sense of open planning that you usually get with more forward-thinking politicians and urban planning.
“Not one person asked for 136 steel bollards and raised kerbs.”
York Central MP Rachael Maskell signed the petition at today’s protest. “It’s ruined Front Street,” she told YorkMix.
“And it’s about time that people in York had a say in what happens in their community.
“I think the council need to learn that they need to listen to the public.
“They’ve snuck through this plan without proper consultation. They weren’t open about what this place would look like.”
Vicki said: “We want nothing less than these bollards gone. If they’ve gone in, they can come out.
“One supporter did jokingly suggest that we could sell them all off for scrap and then use that tiny amount of money to make the improvements that we wanted.”
She said Acomb residents were uniting around the campaign.
“It always has been a community that comes together in Acomb. We knew we would get this support. People really care.
“And they have been waiting years and years for some sort of investment, which is why the feeling is so strong now because it’s literally been thrown down the drain.”