Cyclist blames smash on 'camouflage' bollard on Bristol path
Officials say they will be taking action after white bollards which cyclists say they can't see were put on a cycle path near Bristol.
The bollards are to be fitted with reflective plates and coloured strips to prevent accidents like the one that happened to Ian Redmond close to the Ministry of Defence base at Abbeywood.
Biologist Mr Redmond, who is based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, smashed straight into one of the newly-installed white bollards which he said were difficult to see as they were camouflaged against a white line on the path.
He said: "I've cycled that route to and from Parkway station hundreds of times over the years, and am used to carefully avoiding pedestrians, but came a cropper over this totally unnecessary hazard.
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"The new bollards are solid cast iron and painted white, and so in any conditions of limited visibility, they are almost perfectly camouflaged against the white line separating the cycle-way from the footpath.
"As a biologist, I am familiar with cryptic colouration, which works well for Arctic hares and polar bears, but I'd never considered it a suitable characteristic for traffic bollards."
Mr Redmond escaped with minor injuries but warned that other cyclists might not be so lucky.
He said: "This winter, people will be cycling this way in fog, rain, sleet and – worst of all – snow.
"They will often be weaving around gaggles of commuters, maybe in the dark – clearly it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident.
"I urge the council to remove these bollards, which serve no useful purpose.
"But if they must have them, surely they should be clearly visible in all weathers and ideally made of a flexible material – traffic bollards on roads are designed to minimise damage to cars – why don't cyclists get the same consideration?"
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said: "The bollards were installed in response to requests from passengers travelling between the Ministry of Defence and Parkway and Abbeywood stations, to help safely separate cyclists and pedestrians who use this path.
"It is planned to add high-visibility reflective plates to either side of the bollards, plus two contrasting colour bands, to help them stand out even more clearly.
"These additional measures will be added as soon as possible."