Vandals set fire to Oxford traffic bollard in protest to council's Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme

Video credit: Oxfordshire Liveable Streets & The Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel

Vandals have been caught on camera destroying a traffic bollard in Oxford.

Local residents say the bollard, in Howard Street, has been vandalised 20 times in the last three weeks.

The footage shows one person setting the bollard alight, another person ripping it out of the ground and numerous car and van drivers ploughing into it.

The controversial traffic calming measures have been installed across the city by Oxfordshire County Council as part of a Low Traffic Neigbourhood (LTN) scheme.

They are designed to stop motorists using residential roads as rat-runs and to encourage walking and cycling.

The council has previously condemned the "unprecedented levels of vandalism" which have forced it to spend £100,000 to replace the plastic bollards in East Oxford with steel ones to prevent further damage.

Motorists have been caught driving over the bollard in Howard Street. Credit: Oxfordshire Liveable Streets & The Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel

Josie Proctor, a driver, cyclist and mother who lives on Howard Street, said: "My main concern is that by vandalising bollards they put vulnerable road users, like kids cycling to school, in danger as they don't expect a car barrelling towards them where they expected a filter.

"I've seen so many near misses, it's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt.

"I recognise the LTNs are a contentious issue. Protesting is one thing, but these mindless thugs have cost taxpayers £100,000 to replace the barriers with steel bollards and many hours of police and council workers' time which could be better used.

"We have submitted the unredacted footage with number plates and faces visible to the police so they can tackle this criminality and get some money back to the public purse, as well as deter others and make the roads safer.

"We're really pleased that councillors are now installing steel bollards that will be much harder to destroy but we'd like to see some official cameras installed that could catch and fine those that flout the rules and the thugs that destroy public property and endanger lives.

"We ask the vandals as one neighbour to another to please respect the trial and help keep all those walking and cycling on these roads safe."

Barriers have also been installed in some places across Oxford. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Elizabeth Mills, 71, who lives in the Divinity Road Low Traffic Neighbourhood said: "I'm ambivalent about the LTNs; in some ways they make my life better, and in some ways more difficult.

"However, what really makes me angry is the vandalism. I simply don't think people should go around breaking the law because they disagree."

Robin Tucker, Chair of the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (CoHSAT), said: "One thing we shouldn't forget is that the criminal action we see being perpetrated here is by a small number of nasty criminals.

"A minority of people oppose these measures, and an even smaller minority of those people commit these acts of vandalism."