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Jahama Highland Estates is appealing to drivers of vehicles and motorcycles not to use the Black Parks route at Inverlochy after a bollard was cut down and another flattened.
Jahama’s Liaison Manager Jonathan Hart told the Lochaber Times that one of the bollards appears to have been meticulously cut down using a power tool such as an angle grinder.
The other had been flattened down somehow, while the bollard at the other end of the route was not an effective barrier as it lies flat on the road in any case.
‘This was not a spur of the moment action but something clearly planned and thought out,’ Mr Hart told the Lochaber Times this week, adding that the incident appears to have taken place over the May bank holiday weekend and has since been reported to the police.
Jahama has been working with Regional Transport Partnership HITRANS, Historic
Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highland Council to secure funding for additional improvements to the Black Parks active travel route north of Inverlochy.
The route became traffic-free under the ‘Spaces for People’ programme overseen by
Highland Council and located on Jahama Highland Estate land last year, to create a safe off- road link between Inverlochy and Lochaber High School, medical centre, childcare nursery and attractions around Old Inverlochy Castle.
With 800 pedestrians and 500 cycles recorded on the busiest days last autumn, the Black Parks route is popular with walkers, cyclists and families.
Mr Hart called the damage to the bollards ‘frustrating and disappointing’ and added: ‘We plan to replace the bollards and will upgrade them at the same time, but that will take some time to happen and will involve considerable expense.
‘Therefore we want to flag up to the public that this route is legally pedestrianised and to drive on it is illegal and are pleading with people to keep motorised vehicles off it.’
Police and other emergency services have keys for the lockable bollards so that they can be lowered during an emergency or when the A82 is gridlocked and the police can use it as a controlled alternative route.
And Mr Hart warned: ‘With the Black Parks route being so popular with walkers and cyclists, we would be extremely concerned if people took advantage of the damaged bollards to drive along it.’
Jonathan Hart of Jahama Estates with the vandalised traffic barriers. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba,photos NO F24 Blackparks vandalism 02
The base of one of the vandalised bollards. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
NO F24 Blackparks vandalism 03