Traffic alert: The infamous Fishergate Bollard is coming out of retirement in Preston
Lock up your motors . . . Preston's infamous Fishergate Bollard is set to make a return.
County Hall bosses have revealed the celebrated concrete cornerstone - which still has its own Twitter account - is being brought out of retirement, although it is unlikely he will be such a menace to motorists in his new role.
Bolly, as he became known at the height of his fame, has not been seen in public for more than two years, sparking a "Save Bolly" campaign.
Now, dispelling rumours he had been crunched up for aggregate, Lancashire County Council has reassured the public by revealing he and his five fellow road markers have been kept safely in storage and will be making a return in due course.
But a final decision has yet to be made on where and for what purpose.
"We are considering a number of options to put them to use again," an LCC spokesman told the Post.
All six bollards at the troublesome intersection of Fishergate, Corporation Street and Butler Street were removed in 2019 after five years of causing motoring mayhem. They were replaced by new steel bollards which are more prominent and more robust.
Since then the concrete ones have been stored at an LCC highways department yard near Bamber Bridge.
The authority says that while the new road markers have been a real success and reduced the number of collisions, it has not had time to give much thought to a new use for Bolly and his pals during the Covid pandemic.
Now things have eased, some of County Hall's best brains have been asked to come up with a new use for them.
"The bollards are an important safety feature to mark the crossings and protect people as they cross the road" explained the spokesman. "And we're very pleased that the new design we installed last year to make them more visible and resilient to any collisions has been successful.
"There was an incident at the start of this year resulting in one of them being knocked over. But the damage caused to the bollard was only slight and, while a few other minor marks have appeared on some of them, the issue we had with people frequently running into and damaging the previous bollards appears to have been solved.
"The old bollards are still in storage at the highways depot in Cuerden – we hadn't given much thought to them while our highways teams were getting on with looking after our roads whilst coping with the pressures of the pandemic, but are now considering a number of options to put them to use again."
The road markers were first cemented into place in 2014 as part of the Fishergate shared space scheme. But a string of collisions with vehicles using the junction meant council workmen were constantly having to repair them.
The most troublesome was Bolly who suffered the bulk of the crashes and was regularly sent rolling down the street having been knocked off his perch. Even when he was in for repair the accidents kept on happening, with drivers failing to see the concrete plinth and ending up stuck on top of it.
On Twitter a Fishergate Bollard account was set up in August 2016 and still has almost 3,700 followers.
The bollard became recognised on Google Maps as an official landmark. It featured in a stage play and was also shortlisted for a "City Star" honour in the Smiles Better Awards.
Preston band PR5 even featured Bolly in the video for their new single Brace Yourself. And in February last year Fishergate Bollard received dozens of cards and chocolates for St Valentine's Day.
County Hall bosses say they have lost count of the number of collisions involving the old bollards during their five years in situ. Since the new steel ones have been in place there has been only one confirmed case and a few minor scrapes.