Vandals target new road-block bollards and planters within hours of trial starting

A bollard was pulled out of the ground at the junction of Stockmore Street and Cowley Road Credit: Damian Haywood

Bollards and planters installed to keep traffic out of three areas of East Oxford have been vandalised just hours after their installation.

Work to install three new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Oxford, in the Divinity Road, St Clement’s and St Mary’s areas, was only completed on Friday.

Oxfordshire County Councillor Damian Haywood said half the bollards blocking vehicles from entering the zones have been ripped out, while people had used power tools to try and remove the planters.

He said: "Several have been damaged and a team from the council has been out to fix them today. We are in discussions about how they can be better secured, and the police have been informed."

He added: "It is a small minority of people that are getting a bit angry when they see an obstruction on a road they have always driven down.

"I'm optimistic it will settle down in a couple of days. I cycled around at the weekend and I saw children playing out in the street where I've never seen children playing out before."

He asked people to give the new zones a chance and to complete the online consultation.

The scheme - a six-month trial approved by Oxfordshire County Council - has proved controversial, with some embracing the opportunity to cycle and walk safely in the cordoned-off areas, and others claiming it will lengthen journey times on other roads and cause congestion.

John Skinner, who stood in the recent Oxford City Council election and opposes the LTNs, told ITV News Meridian: "They are causing chaos already. The problems for the doctors and nurses at the Churchill and John Radcliffe hospitals are horrendous. There have been huge great queues down Iffley Road and Cowley Road.

"In my view the scheme is a complete disaster and the barriers need to be ripped out - not by residents but by the politicians - who should admit they have made a mistake.

"I do not condone this vandalism, but the LTNs are not the right way to go."