ROUND bollards on Southend seafront are set to be scrapped following a series of mishaps with motorists.

In the latest incident, a taxi driver managed to park his car on top of one of the controversial black balls on City Beach.

The AC Radiocabs driver is said to have been left red-faced by the incident, which didn’t injure anyone.

Stephen Noakes from AC said: “The driver is gutted and extremely embarrassed at his mistake.

“The same accident has happened a lot recently. I know of other taxi firms, a private car and a van that have all hit these balls in just the last few months.

“We believe they are too low down. If you are next to them it is impossible to see them plus the shape means when you hit them you end up on top of them.”

Mr Noakes added: “We feel the shared space on the seafront is flawed; not only are these balls too low but our concern is that the shared space doesn’t have kerbs meaning the blind or partially sighted may have trouble seeing where the road starts and finishes.

“Railings and a zebra crossing have worked for years and I suggest that is what is needed on the seafront for the safety of everyone.”

The incident was reported but the driver will not face further action.

The shared space area around City Beach, which allows pedestrians and vehicles to mix freely, was the subject of widespread safety concerns when it was introduced almost ten years ago.

Counter terrorism safety measures are set to be installed along the stretch, with large planters preventing any vehicle targeting pedestrians as happened when a car was driven through a German carnival, leaving 30 people injured.

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for community safety, said: “I’ve never liked these bollards. They are ridiculous.

“We have had advice from the Government on how to tighten up security on the seafront in view of what’s happened both in this country and elsewhere.

“The special intelligence group has advised us to put in more precautionary measures and we want to use planters because they will be so much more attractive and shrubs will absorb carbon.

“Details are being finalised in conjunction with seafront traders and we would like to get the work done by the summer.”