Another bollard vs car smash in Wimbledon town centre

Wimbledon Guardian: The scene this morning The scene this morning

Major traffic is expected in Wimbledon town centre this morning after another car flipped over after crashing into a bell bollard.

The Virgin Media van crashed with the bollard, after turning right into Worple Road from Wimbledon Hill Road, at about 11.15am.

Fire crews and police are on the scene, but it is understood the driver did not require emergency treatment.

Sarah Davies, a lettings manager at Haart estate agent, said there is diesel spilling out into the road and there is already a major traffic buildup.

She said: “He had a friend following him in another Virgin Media van, and he helped him climb out after the crash.

“He looks like he’s ok but the driver’s side of the car is badly damaged.

“I am just speechless because this keeps happening and the council always refuse to take action.

"The same thing kept happening about eight or nine times last January and February, during the dark winter afternoons.

“Personally I think the junction is in the wrong place and needs to be moved back down Worple Road.”

The road was closed by Merton police at 11.30am and has caused congestion to Hartfield Road.

The following buses have been diverted: 57, 131, 163, 164 and 219.

When a similar incident happened in September, the Merton Council's cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: "This is a very busy junction which is heavily used by pedestrians.

"The bollard protects them from vehicles. We ask motorists to be extra careful when driving at this junction."

Councillor Suzanne Evans, who represents Hillside ward, said Merton Council needed to launched a full consultation about how to minimise accidents at the junction.

She said: “How many accidents does it take before officers will do something? They are still telling me they’re are not taking action.

“Yes there is an issue of driver error but the council has a responsibility to mitigate that and prevent injury.”


Did you see what happened? Call 020 8722 6335, tweet @WimbledonNews or email Omar at: ooakes@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (20)

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12:06pm Thu 11 Oct 12

cutitup says...

I like blaming the council as much as the next guy, but couldn't all these drivers just not drive into the bollard?
I like blaming the council as much as the next guy, but couldn't all these drivers just not drive into the bollard? cutitup

12:59pm Thu 11 Oct 12

shelokay2 says...

another example of poor driving.. prob rushing to turn in front of oncoming traffic!
another example of poor driving.. prob rushing to turn in front of oncoming traffic! shelokay2

1:07pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Tobermory says...

Lucky he hit a bollard on the traffic island and child. Just goes to show these bollards do prevent cars driving onto the footway and traffic islands, well done Merton Council!
Lucky he hit a bollard on the traffic island and child. Just goes to show these bollards do prevent cars driving onto the footway and traffic islands, well done Merton Council! Tobermory

1:46pm Thu 11 Oct 12

bystander tolworth says...

Surely Councillor Suzanne Evans and her fellow Councillors are the ones who need to take action, not the officers of Merton Council, after all Councillors are elected to make decisions aren't they?
Surely Councillor Suzanne Evans and her fellow Councillors are the ones who need to take action, not the officers of Merton Council, after all Councillors are elected to make decisions aren't they? bystander tolworth

1:52pm Thu 11 Oct 12

hesangelgirl says...

for once this cant be blamed on merton council, the blame has to be at the drivers surely.
i am a driver myself and i have never once come close to hitting that bollard. but i have seen people get very close to it and that is because they are rushing to beat the oncoming traffic. so i say it bad driving by the person
for once this cant be blamed on merton council, the blame has to be at the drivers surely. i am a driver myself and i have never once come close to hitting that bollard. but i have seen people get very close to it and that is because they are rushing to beat the oncoming traffic. so i say it bad driving by the person hesangelgirl

3:01pm Thu 11 Oct 12

womble_womble says...

I suppose if the bollard is removed and a pedestrian is mowed down by a car it will be the council's fault too?
I suppose if the bollard is removed and a pedestrian is mowed down by a car it will be the council's fault too? womble_womble

3:16pm Thu 11 Oct 12

stuckinamatchbox says...

This has happened numerous times now. I am a driver and do that exact turn probably at least twice a day. I also am a pedestrian at this junction regularly.

As a driver: I don't care what anybody says, this junction is dangerous. When you're coming down the hill to turn right you have an awful lot to keep an eye out for and numerous simultaneous checks in order to take the turn. Often it's gridlocked with the busses turning right out of Worple Road which leads to obstruction of view. All too many times when the golden opportunity has arisen to make the manoeuvre I've had to slam on the brakes because a pedestrian has chosen to ignore the traffic signals.

As a pedestrian: I too have made a quick dash thinking it was clear and didn't have time to wait for the green man. I'd challenge anyone who said they were 100% vigilant at all times.

Yes, the bollard is for safety reasons. But why on earth isn't it a yellow, blue and white lit up or reflective bollard? Why is it just a bell shape on the ground with no luminosity whatsoever? It's very low, at wheel height whereas the lit up ones are up to window level usually. It's also dark grey/black. If this had happened only the once or twice you could put it down to bad luck/driving. This many times though is surely evidence enough for a thorough review. I've seen not one change in between all the other identical incidents.

@Tobermory
You can say that it's done a great job and prevented the van/car from hitting a pedestrian on the footway but I think you're overlooking the point that the van actually could have landed on a pedestrian who may have been taking a chance running across the road.
This has happened numerous times now. I am a driver and do that exact turn probably at least twice a day. I also am a pedestrian at this junction regularly. As a driver: I don't care what anybody says, this junction is dangerous. When you're coming down the hill to turn right you have an awful lot to keep an eye out for and numerous simultaneous checks in order to take the turn. Often it's gridlocked with the busses turning right out of Worple Road which leads to obstruction of view. All too many times when the golden opportunity has arisen to make the manoeuvre I've had to slam on the brakes because a pedestrian has chosen to ignore the traffic signals. As a pedestrian: I too have made a quick dash thinking it was clear and didn't have time to wait for the green man. I'd challenge anyone who said they were 100% vigilant at all times. Yes, the bollard is for safety reasons. But why on earth isn't it a yellow, blue and white lit up or reflective bollard? Why is it just a bell shape on the ground with no luminosity whatsoever? It's very low, at wheel height whereas the lit up ones are up to window level usually. It's also dark grey/black. If this had happened only the once or twice you could put it down to bad luck/driving. This many times though is surely evidence enough for a thorough review. I've seen not one change in between all the other identical incidents. @Tobermory You can say that it's done a great job and prevented the van/car from hitting a pedestrian on the footway but I think you're overlooking the point that the van actually could have landed on a pedestrian who may have been taking a chance running across the road. stuckinamatchbox

3:34pm Thu 11 Oct 12

CllrSuzanneEvans says...

Sadly being a Councillor doesn't mean you can wave a magic wand and get things done - espcially if you're in opposition as I am @TolworthBystander ! I have been lobbying for something to be done for a while but Cllr Andrew Judge is the Cabinet member and he is the only one who has the power to order an investigation. Driver error or not, there are too many accidents and eventually someone will be seriously hurt and as StuckInAMatchbox says, that could be a lorry overturning on a pedestrian on the pavement. Doesn't bear thinking about.
Sadly being a Councillor doesn't mean you can wave a magic wand and get things done - espcially if you're in opposition as I am @TolworthBystander ! I have been lobbying for something to be done for a while but Cllr Andrew Judge is the Cabinet member and he is the only one who has the power to order an investigation. Driver error or not, there are too many accidents and eventually someone will be seriously hurt and as StuckInAMatchbox says, that could be a lorry overturning on a pedestrian on the pavement. Doesn't bear thinking about. CllrSuzanneEvans

4:23pm Thu 11 Oct 12

bystander tolworth says...

Whilst I agree that there are far too many accidents at this junction and something needs to be done I cannot agree that it is the responsibility of the council officers, as you point out any investigation has to be ordered by a Councillor- in this case the cabinet member.
Whilst I agree that there are far too many accidents at this junction and something needs to be done I cannot agree that it is the responsibility of the council officers, as you point out any investigation has to be ordered by a Councillor- in this case the cabinet member. bystander tolworth

7:02pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Hove Ex-Pat says...

As I have said before, remove the "Bell" & install a triangular armco barrier. Vehicles will not ride up & over the armco as they do with the bell. A vehicle will either be pushed to the left or impaled, but it will be much less likely to roll over. Lastly the armco can be painted by reflective paint.
As I have said before, remove the "Bell" & install a triangular armco barrier. Vehicles will not ride up & over the armco as they do with the bell. A vehicle will either be pushed to the left or impaled, but it will be much less likely to roll over. Lastly the armco can be painted by reflective paint. Hove Ex-Pat

7:45pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Joe 90 says...

I was at the junction a few moments after the crash - I suspect the van took the turn too quickly. One solution might be to change the traffic lights sequence to allow for turning right into Worple Rd whilst oncoming traffic stops on red.
I was at the junction a few moments after the crash - I suspect the van took the turn too quickly. One solution might be to change the traffic lights sequence to allow for turning right into Worple Rd whilst oncoming traffic stops on red. Joe 90

9:56pm Thu 11 Oct 12

RichardSwt says...

cutitup wrote:
I like blaming the council as much as the next guy, but couldn't all these drivers just not drive into the bollard?
Well yes of course it's driver error and poor driving. But if six or more cars have rolled at at the same junction in the same year something is wrong.

A barrier should stop a car going out of control, by either the driver seeing it in the first place or stopping the car in a controlled manor in a worst case senario (even if the driver is to blame).

Just think about it for a second, a car or van flipping on it's side is out of control and not something you want at a busy pedestrian crossing.

Just imagine for a second it was a larger van that rolled. It could well have gone careering onto the pavement and the consequences of that are something you really wouldn't want to think about.
[quote][p][bold]cutitup[/bold] wrote: I like blaming the council as much as the next guy, but couldn't all these drivers just not drive into the bollard?[/p][/quote]Well yes of course it's driver error and poor driving. But if six or more cars have rolled at at the same junction in the same year something is wrong. A barrier should stop a car going out of control, by either the driver seeing it in the first place or stopping the car in a controlled manor in a worst case senario (even if the driver is to blame). Just think about it for a second, a car or van flipping on it's side is out of control and not something you want at a busy pedestrian crossing. Just imagine for a second it was a larger van that rolled. It could well have gone careering onto the pavement and the consequences of that are something you really wouldn't want to think about. RichardSwt

8:26am Fri 12 Oct 12

cl0ud says...

After the accidents earlier in the year the council painted a curved white line just before the bollard which seemed to do the trick in helping guide cars around the corner.

I noticed last week that it had been removed, and I do wonder whether that is the cause of this new spate of accidents.
After the accidents earlier in the year the council painted a curved white line just before the bollard which seemed to do the trick in helping guide cars around the corner. I noticed last week that it had been removed, and I do wonder whether that is the cause of this new spate of accidents. cl0ud

11:20am Fri 12 Oct 12

peepingtweo says...

how on earth did this driver hit the bell? i mean it clearly shows here that the driver cut off the corner showing he was not driving safely or properly!! people like this should be made to re-take their driving test!
how on earth did this driver hit the bell? i mean it clearly shows here that the driver cut off the corner showing he was not driving safely or properly!! people like this should be made to re-take their driving test! peepingtweo

12:35pm Fri 12 Oct 12

stuckinamatchbox says...

@peepingtweo

Wow... I can only hope that you never end up on the jury of an innocent man. They'd be screwed!

Re-take their driving test? I'm struggling to understand that one. Do you work for Merton Council by any chance? If so, then I'm no longer confused by your comment.

If not, then may I suggest you revisit some basic physics lessons. People like you should be made to take a course on common sense prior to commenting!
@peepingtweo Wow... I can only hope that you never end up on the jury of an innocent man. They'd be screwed! Re-take their driving test? I'm struggling to understand that one. Do you work for Merton Council by any chance? If so, then I'm no longer confused by your comment. If not, then may I suggest you revisit some basic physics lessons. People like you should be made to take a course on common sense prior to commenting! stuckinamatchbox

1:00pm Fri 12 Oct 12

peepingtweo says...

stuckinamatchbox wrote:
@peepingtweo Wow... I can only hope that you never end up on the jury of an innocent man. They'd be screwed! Re-take their driving test? I'm struggling to understand that one. Do you work for Merton Council by any chance? If so, then I'm no longer confused by your comment. If not, then may I suggest you revisit some basic physics lessons. People like you should be made to take a course on common sense prior to commenting!
yes re-take their test im not sure how you are struggling to work that out? if you drive on the road properly and turn correctly at junctions you would not hit the bollard? its quite simple to work out
[quote][p][bold]stuckinamatchbox[/bold] wrote: @peepingtweo Wow... I can only hope that you never end up on the jury of an innocent man. They'd be screwed! Re-take their driving test? I'm struggling to understand that one. Do you work for Merton Council by any chance? If so, then I'm no longer confused by your comment. If not, then may I suggest you revisit some basic physics lessons. People like you should be made to take a course on common sense prior to commenting![/p][/quote]yes re-take their test im not sure how you are struggling to work that out? if you drive on the road properly and turn correctly at junctions you would not hit the bollard? its quite simple to work out peepingtweo

1:19pm Fri 12 Oct 12

stuckinamatchbox says...

Your being puzzled by my comment doesn't surprise me.

Funny you didn't comment on the latter part of my comment either.

There are many many factors to take into account here. Some of us have been debating them in this comments section. People like you making out that 'it's so simple' really really worry me.

Moron.
Your being puzzled by my comment doesn't surprise me. Funny you didn't comment on the latter part of my comment either. There are many many factors to take into account here. Some of us have been debating them in this comments section. People like you making out that 'it's so simple' really really worry me. Moron. stuckinamatchbox

7:41pm Fri 12 Oct 12

robmorleyuk says...

This would be a good place for a box junction if it wasn’t that Merton council would fine anyone waiting to turn right in to Worple road.
This would be a good place for a box junction if it wasn’t that Merton council would fine anyone waiting to turn right in to Worple road. robmorleyuk

10:20am Sat 13 Oct 12

shelokay2 says...

@stuckinamatchbox there is never an excuse to not wait for the green man to cross! and if a pedestrian chances a red light.. idiot!
if a car chanced it through a red light there would be outrage.. but pedestrians do this all the time!! the highway code is for every road user.. not just vehicles!
@stuckinamatchbox there is never an excuse to not wait for the green man to cross! and if a pedestrian chances a red light.. idiot! if a car chanced it through a red light there would be outrage.. but pedestrians do this all the time!! the highway code is for every road user.. not just vehicles! shelokay2

10:25am Sat 13 Oct 12

shelokay2 says...

maybe a idfferent tactic could be tried, such as a different style of bollard, but alot of this still hightlights the fact that drivers are turning here without due care and attention, and how can the coucil address the drivers poor driving?
maybe a idfferent tactic could be tried, such as a different style of bollard, but alot of this still hightlights the fact that drivers are turning here without due care and attention, and how can the coucil address the drivers poor driving? shelokay2

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