Estate agents at a branch of sales and lettings agency Martin & Co in central Birmingham have been caught on camera ripping up cycle lane bollards and their actions posted on Twitter, where they went viral yesterday as cycling activists harrumphed online about the ‘vandalism’.
The videos (watch them here) do appear damning as three different members of staff attempt to extricate a company car from behind several cycle lane bendy bollards or ‘wands’ as they are known.
After much to-ing and fro-ing including (see above) some paint scratching, one of the team rips one of the bollards out of the ground.
This might seem like fairly standard for any city centre business battling parking restrictions and new cycle lanes, but the video was then posted online by a cycling website and distributed via social media.
The three videos then attracted over 20,000 views and hundreds of comments as both the website and Twitter commentators accused the agency staff, and other people in the area, of deliberately parking in a cycle lane.
But the whole episode is proof of how social media can get it horribly wrong.
“Martin & Co Birmingham can confirm that it has spoken with a representative of the council in regard to the new cycle lane and bollards/wands that were installed on Carver Street yesterday afternoon, whilst cars were parked there, without any prior notice being given to surrounding businesses,” a company spokesperson told The Negotiator.
It understood the council has apologised for the inconvenience to the estate agents. Those on Twitter may now have to follow suit.