'Doctor Who' child bollards prompt Plymouth rethink

Image caption,
The manufacturers said the bollards were effective at slowing down drivers

Plans for child-shaped bollards outside a primary school have been rejected by parents who described them as "scary" and "something out of Doctor Who".

Plymouth's Compton Church of England Primary School asked parents about the bollards, which aim to slow down cars.

Some compared the stony-faced bollards, which cost £350 each, to a scene from Doctor Who.

Plymouth City Council, which imposed the bollards as a planning condition, is now reviewing the proposals.

The makers of the bollards said they remained "proud" of them.

The idea was mentioned to a newsletter which went to parents with pupils at the school.

Mother Rachel Lane said: "They might work, but they are pretty scary.

"I think they might frighten the children.

"I'd like to see a lollipop man and a zebra crossing because the roads near the school are so busy."

'They look hideous'

Another parent said: "They're expensive, the school has to foot the bill and there's no proof that they more effective than normal bollards.

"And they look hideous, like something out of Doctor Who."

Another said: "In the middle of the night you'll see these weird-looking things."

A comment on BBC Good Morning Devon's Facebook page said: "Looks like a remake of 'Village of the Damned'. Don't look them in the eye or one's 4x4 will burst into flames."

The school said it had received the largest number of comments it had ever had for a consultation, but said opinion had been evenly divided.

Plymouth City Council said: "In recent discussions with the school it has been agreed that action to stop inconsiderate parking on pavements is a priority.

"The use of the themed bollards is being reviewed and alternatives are being looked at.

"The safety of children trying to get to and from school is the most important consideration."

Adrian Briggs, of manufacturers Marshalls Street Furniture, said: "We consider [the bollards] cheap and effective compared with traffic cameras.

"Cameras would be tens of thousands of pounds."

He said that although other areas of the UK had raised concerns about the bollards, they had worked.

"If you see a child next to the road there is a natural reaction to slow the vehicle down," he said.

"We are proud of the bollards."

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