Call for 'solid' bollards after string of cars crash into Collier Row home

The playhouse was destroyed when a car plunged into the back garden.

The playhouse was destroyed when a car plunged into the back garden. - Credit: Tracy Jones

A family is reaching "breaking point" after cars have crashed into their Collier Row home four times in 18 months.

Tracy Jones, 42, moved to Mawney Road with her husband Dean and her children, Harry, 13, and Ella, 10, in 2017 - and since then, the family have been cursed with a string of damaging accidents.

The playhouse was crushed when a car plunged into the back garden.

The car smashed through the brick wall. - Credit: Tracy Jones

On one occasion in 2018, a driver crashed their Mercedes through the wall into the garden, crushing the children's playhouse and smattering bricks around the swing. 

There were two crashes after police chases and another incident of an allegedly stolen car being rammed into the back garden.

The car rammed right into the playhouse and the swing.

The playhouse was crushed when a car plunged into the back garden. - Credit: Tracy Jones

Tracy said: "It's four accidents. Four times our home has been damaged. I worry about the people that walk along the side of my house and for my own family’s safety.

"We want to fix up our house, we want to do our driveway, but we feel like it’s only time before another accident happens. So we have an old jeep on our front [drive] as a crash barrier to protect our home. I’m near breaking point with this.

"We should not have to live in fear of this. My nerves are in tatters and I’ve had to seek medical help for anxiety."

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The house is on the corner of an angle in the road which has a 30mph speed limit, but Tracy says cars often hurtle around the bend doing speeds nearly double.

After the fourth accident in September 2019, the family were promised heavy-duty anti-ram bollards to protect the house - however, this was delayed because of funding issues and then the pandemic.

Bollards have now been installed but the Jones are disappointed because they are plastic and "you can push [them] over with your hand".

"My heart sunk when I saw the workmen putting in plastic ones," said Dean.

Tracy shows wobbles the bollard with her hand.

Tracy wobbles the new bollards with her hand. - Credit: Tracy Jones

Councillor for Mawneys and cabinet member for health on Havering Council, Cllr Jason Frost, said there is not agreement over what is "appropriate to improve safety" at the site.

He said: "The particular layout of the road means engineers have at different times agreed to or rejected anything more substantial than the bollards now in place.

"This included barriers, ‘bells’ or concrete posts. From a highways engineering perspective, the issue remains how to balance protection of the Jones’ residence with the impact of a vehicle being discharged back across the road into the path of oncoming traffic.

"My colleagues and I met an engineer on-site and asked for the installation of bollards as a minimum. This was agreed to, but we were informed by the engineer that these could not be solid for the reasons stated above.

"We challenged this, but were unsuccessful."

Engineers won't agree to bollards more sturdy than the plastic ones.

Engineers won't agree to bollards more sturdy than the plastic ones, Cllr Frost said - Credit: Tracy Jones

MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, also backed the Joneses' cause, but to no avail.

Cllr Frost added: "The solution that has been brought forward was certainly not one that we ‘agreed’ to by any means.

"We fully appreciate the sense of anger and frustration felt by all at this outcome, it is one that my colleagues and I share.

"This is not a matter that will rest."

The house in Mawney Road is at the corner of a bend.

The house in Mawney Road is at the corner of a bend. - Credit: Tracy Jones

Speaking on behalf of the Havering Council, environment chief Cllr Osman Dervish said: “This is a horrible thing for anyone to go through and we obviously sympathise with the resident’s frustration and distress.

"In each of the incidents, unfortunately, the vehicles were involved in a police chase and were speeding and driving dangerously. We will continue to monitor the situation but there is nothing to suggest the crashes were caused by the safety of the road.

“We also appeal to drivers in Havering to observe the rules of the road and to consider other road users, pedestrians and our residents while driving."

This comes after another crash on March 25, which did not touch the Joneses' house but which was on Mawney Road. 

A woman in her 20s was found at the scene and treated for a head injury.