BOLLARDS and parapet in Ventnor — damaged in a road accident last year — are being repaired by Island Roads.

Work to Belgrave Road is being undertaken with two aims — to make the road safer and to preserve the town’s special character.

The challenge has been to come up with a design that complements the surrounding street-scene, which lies within a conservation area, but that is strong enough to prevent a similar incident happening again.

The railings were destroyed when a car, driven by a drink driver, crashed through the barrier and landed several feet below.

Island Roads structures manager Ian Hodson said: “The usual highway engineering solution would have been to erect a steel safety barrier at this location.

“The trouble with that solution was it would obviously not have been in keeping with the coastal and Victorian character of Ventnor and was unsuitable for the narrow one-way road without losing the only footway, so we have had to be creative.”

The solution, agreed after consultation with the IW Council’s conservation officer, has been to install traditional-looking cast iron bollards, reinforced by steel inserts.

"It is in keeping with Ventnor’s charm but will prevent vehicles leaving the road and going over the top of the retaining wall.

"The original cast iron parapet was too badly damaged to be repaired, but a new one of similar appearance will be installed as a pedestrian restraint."

The work, to be undertaken over four weeks, was delayed until after the summer holiday season, and has required traffic management.

Ian said: “We would like to thank residents for their co-operation and understanding during this work which is due, weather permitting, to finish on October 18.”