The Coalition Government has recently declared war on cluttered streets, which it claims are changing the nature of our towns. Patchwork paving and bossy bollards have been named as the number one enemies of the urban environment.
So I thought the time had come to look more closely at our towns and document this insidious enemy within.
And where better to begin this Odyssey than in the spiritual home of the coalition, Tunbridge Wells. A town with a variety of street furniture, much of it anti-social. Here, for example, is a truculent row of bollards outside the Victoria Place Shopping Mall, clearly set to intimidate passers-by:
While others lurk morosely, ready to jeer lewdly at any passing 4×4:
The presence of CCTV is no deterrent. As we can see here, bollards move in and mob the cameras, jeering and gesticulating:
And it’s not just the bollards of course. Here, even in Tunbridge Wells, gangs of assorted tribes of street furniture gather on street corners to intimidate the law-abiding:
While here the social problems of binge refuse dumping are all too plain to see.
It’s clear that even in this heartland of all that is decent and sensible in Britain, the street furniture problem is serious and growing.