Firefighters forced to cut down damaged LTN bollard to get to emergency

The bollard is part of a traffic filter at the junction of Clive Road and Rymers Lane Credit: Amir Steve Ali

Firefighters had to cut down a traffic-reducing bollard to attend an incident in Oxford this week.

They should have been able to lower the bollard using a key but it had been damaged.

The incident on Tuesday - a small fire in an electrical plug socket which was out before the arrival of the fire service - follows reports that many bollards and planters installed in May to reduce traffic in new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been damaged, with costs running into thousands of pounds.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: "The fire and rescue service responded to an incident in Clive Road on 21 June and had to cut down a bollard that had previously been damaged.

The bollard had to be cut down to let the emergency services through Credit: Amir Steve Ali

"The damage affected the mechanism which would allow it to normally be removed using a key.

"The fire and rescue service kept us informed and we will now assess what repairs can be made and install a replacement bollard.

"Damage to traffic filters around east Oxford is creating significant safety concerns, as well as a substantial cost to the taxpayer.

"The costs for damage to bollards and planters has now topped £12,000 since the measures were launched on 20 May."

The council is urging residents and road users to engage with its consultation on the trial LTNs in east Oxford at

It is continuing to make safe and reinstate all damaged bollards that have been forcibly knocked down or uprooted and is currently in the process of replacing filters on Leopold Street, Howard Street, Rectory Road, Southfield Road and Divinity Road. 

Damage to traffic filters has also occurred in the Cowley area where trial LTNs were installed in 2021.