THE COUNCIL has moved ahead with plans to spend £250,000 on permanently installing anti-terrorism measures throughout the city centre.

Worcester City Council wants to install strengthened bollards and planters at various points throughout the city centre in a bid to protect visitors during large events and festivals.

A total of 12 locations have been put forward as sites for bollards and the more aesthetically pleasing planters including both ends of the High Street around Cathedral Square and The Cross, Friar Street and both ends of Broad Street.

Fish Street, Copenhagen Street, The Shambles, Pump Street, Charles Street and the Cornmarket have also been mentioned as possible locations for barriers and bollards.

Cllr Simon Geraghty said he would prefer to see “sensible” measures that were sympathetic to the character of the city rather than some of the other “hideous” barriers and other security measures put forward.

Cllr Geraghty said the anti-terrorism measures needed to protect the city’s people but not look as though everybody had something to worry about.

Cllr Roger Berry said the city council should be looking to Worcestershire County Council to share some of the “significant burden” of spending £250,000 on anti-terrorist bollards and planters.

“Surely this is also a highways issue,” he said at a meeting of the council’s place and economic development committee.

“If you create more pedestrian areas, you create the need for it [anti-terrorism measures].”

Anti-terrorism barriers and bollards were put in place around the city centre during the last three Victorian fayres based on police and government advice.

Putting the barriers up at last year’s fayre cost £36,500 and installing permanent measures would save a lot of money, according to the council.

The report also said anti-terrorism measures could protect crowded streets from vehicles crashing due to a mechanical fault or if a driver blacked out.

The council said it is only following steps taken by other cities across the country and Worcester is not at any greater threat than any other town or city.

Worcester’s reputation as a safe place to visit is very important, the council said, as it looks to attract more tourists and shoppers through new events and festivals as well as well as hosting more established events such as the Victorian Christmas Fayre, Christmas lights switch-on, Remembrance Sunday, graduations, markets and food festivals where thousands flood the city centre’s streets.

The council said it should consider buying permanent protection such as larger bollards and concrete planters rather than the more expensive retractable bollards and road blockers to protect the city centre.

The safety measures the council plans to put in place would restrict access to the city centre’s pedestrianised areas whilst still allowing vans and lorries to carry on delivering to shops and restaurants, the council said.

The roads would then be fully closed off during fayres and events.

The plan was backed in principle by the council’s place and economic development committee on Monday (January 27) but it still needs final approval from the city council’s policy and resources committee, which meets next Tuesday (February 4).