What a load of bollards

November 01, 2011 2:17 PM

Concerning news from Barry that £30,000 has been spent installing bespoke bollards. The 30 red and black steel poles cost £1,000 each, and were commissioned by the Barry Regeneration Area Programme.  They come in a variety of designs themed on cogs and winches, which, apparently, are meant to represent the town’s industrial past.

A  Vale Council spokeswoman explained the design:

The inspiration for these designs came from Barry’s maritime history and from the idea that Thompson Street itself has had an exciting and multi-layered history. The material speaks of winches and dockside machinery, while the forms have some of these same connotations.


Some of the designs imply movement with the cog rolling up and down the rack as you move from one bollard to the next. Elsewhere the cog seems more like a flower head.


While councils are having to make savings, local taxpayers should be asking themselves whether their council is really being prudent with their money.  Of course bollards may need to be replaced, but there is no need to get them made in a variety of colours and designed by an art studio. Bollards do serve an important safety purpose, however did they even need to be replaced at all? Even if this was part of essential maintenance, replacing 30 bollards needn’t cost anywhere in the region of £1,000 each - or in other terms around 30 people’s entire annual council tax bills.

Vale Council say that the bollards are part of the Welsh Government’s “on-going attempt to revive the seaside town”. But unfortunately this seems nothing more than a council vanity project.  Even in the good times, it would be difficult to defend an expense such as this, however in this current climate it beggars belief that this project ever received council approval. To see the crazy designs, click here.Concerning news from Barry that £30,000 has been spent installing bespoke bollards. The 30 red and black steel poles cost £1,000 each, and were commissioned by the Barry Regeneration Area Programme.  They come in a variety of designs themed on cogs and winches, which, apparently, are meant to represent the town’s industrial past.

A  Vale Council spokeswoman explained the design:

The inspiration for these designs came from Barry’s maritime history and from the idea that Thompson Street itself has had an exciting and multi-layered history. The material speaks of winches and dockside machinery, while the forms have some of these same connotations.


Some of the designs imply movement with the cog rolling up and down the rack as you move from one bollard to the next. Elsewhere the cog seems more like a flower head.


While councils are having to make savings, local taxpayers should be asking themselves whether their council is really being prudent with their money.  Of course bollards may need to be replaced, but there is no need to get them made in a variety of colours and designed by an art studio. Bollards do serve an important safety purpose, however did they even need to be replaced at all? Even if this was part of essential maintenance, replacing 30 bollards needn’t cost anywhere in the region of £1,000 each - or in other terms around 30 people’s entire annual council tax bills.

Vale Council say that the bollards are part of the Welsh Government’s “on-going attempt to revive the seaside town”. But unfortunately this seems nothing more than a council vanity project.  Even in the good times, it would be difficult to defend an expense such as this, however in this current climate it beggars belief that this project ever received council approval. To see the crazy designs, click here.

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