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Pauline Mickelburgh says bollard that caused her crash on Watford High Street is too close to bike lane

A cyclist left injured after she crashed due to a rising bollard coming out of the ground on Watford High Street has called for a safety review at the location where the incident took place.

The Watford Observer reports that three bollards were installed close to the junction with Market Street in late 2018 to deter motorists from driving along the High Street.

But a picture on the newspaper’s website shows that one of the bollards encroaches on an adjacent cycle lane.

Pauline Mickelburgh was riding in the cycle on her way home from work on the evening of 5 February when the bollard struck one her pedals as it came out of the ground.

She sustained grazing and bruising, and the crash also left her bike damaged.

The 47-year-old said: “They are really dangerous. When they are in the ground, you can’t see the bollards when it’s dark and the alarm bell only begins ringing when the bollards start to rise. There should be a sound warning first of a few seconds.

“But I also believe there isn’t enough space. It’s too dangerous. My friend says she has seen a cyclist knocked over too.

“I’m not against the bollards and I can understand why they are by the Palace Theatre but why do we need them at Market Street too. It’s a one-way street.

“I knew the bollards were there but perhaps at the time I thought they were a little further away,” she continued.

“The weather wasn’t good. If they are going to stay, I think there should be lights on the bollards and on the ground so people can always see them, as well as an audible warning.”

Watford’s elected mayor, Peter Taylor, said: “I was very sorry to hear about this unfortunate accident and hope that the person involved makes a full and speedy recovery.

“I would like to reassure residents that we have plenty of signs in place, all of which are illuminated. They meet all of the strict rules and regulations.

“When the bollards rise or fall they give a loud warning and on each bollard there are flashing lights too.

“Since we introduced rising bollards there has been an 80 per cent reduction in the number of cars driving here.

“It is now a much safer and more pleasant environment for people who are walking or riding a bike and we’ve had lots of positive feedback from residents about these changes,” he added.

However, according to the Watford Observer, there have been a number of issues with the bollards since they, and another set at the Clarendon Road end of the High Street, were installed.

Problems include a bus being lifted off the ground by them, and motorists tailgating buses to try and get through before the bollards rise again.

The Clarendon Road bollards have since been disabled with a steward placed at that location.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.