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Resident claims removing bollard on Perth street will turn it into a rat run

The bollard has been disabled and now allows traffic from both directions.
The bollard has been disabled and now allows traffic from both directions.

A Perth resident fear disabling an automatic bollard on a quiet neighbourhood street will transform it into a “rat run”.

The bollard was effectively removed in Florence Place near Perth city centre in September, after a number of cars were damaged.

The council said it had been spending around £6,000 per year maintaining the bollard since it was installed in 2007.

It will go through a six-month review period to determine the next steps to manage traffic on the street.

However, Florence Place resident Grace Sharkey is concerned her street will be overwhelmed with traffic because there are four schools nearby and it will be an obvious route for those on the school run.

She said: “It’s my view that what they have done by opening it up as a two-way street is opening it as a rat run.

“They are deliberately allowing traffic leaving the congested Dunkeld Road to speed through our area morning, noon and night.

“People use Florence Place as a shortcut as you can avoid a number of traffic lights and roundabouts when trying to get to the Old Perth Bridge.

“It was a safer place to live with the bollard. There is a dissatisfaction with the potential danger.

“I anticipate that with the volume of traffic in the area, the small roundabouts on Florence Place will block drivers and then the traffic can’t go anywhere.

“In the last month when the bollard hasn’t been there, there has been two weeks of school holidays. It has taken a while for people to catch on that the road is open but I think they are getting there.

“I don’t know how they can send traffic through a residential area with schools and old people’s homes.”

Traffic cables are currently on sight at Florence Place to review the speed and volume of traffic.

The review process is set to be concluded in March, where council bosses will make a decision if it will be completely closed off to oncoming traffic from Dunkeld Road, or stay open as a two-way street.

Liberal Democrats councillor Peter Barrett said: “In my mind, this was the least intrusive of all of the options that could be implemented.

“The traffic survey is being carried out and will determine if it is a rat run.

“The council’s consultation period when deciding to disable the bollard was not the best. But I can’t see that there will be an increase in traffic.

“In the month or so that the bollard has been reduced there has not been any serious impact on traffic. If, after a number of weeks there was chaos, we would have stepped in.”

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