Bollards in Gualchos

Anybody that lives in the central streets of a small Andalusian village will know what a pain it is when somebody parks, blocking your front door – read on.

An elderly couple in Gualchos were sick to death of people parking cars up against their front door, which open outwards, stopping them from getting into or out of their home. When the culprit was a neighbour, then a quick shout across the street or a telephone call solved the problem, but when it was not a neighbour, the chaos really began.

So, they asked the Town Hall to install a permanent bollard or post in front of the door via their solicitor in October 2011, citing a local bylaw concerning urban traffic. Within weeks, municipal workers had installed the said obstacle and everybody should have been happy bunnies from then on… the same workers dug it out and removed in February 2012, much to their amazement.

The solicitor lost no time in lodging an official complaint before the Town Hall, demanding to know why it had been removed. His complaint was met by what is known as ‘administrative silence.’ The next step was to approach the Ombudsman, which they did.

The Ombudsman started asking for documents from the Town Hall, but he too was met with silence until June last year when the Town Hall responded that they would be putting the bollard back “very soon.” In the meantime, the couple cannot gain access to their house whenever there is a strangers car parked there, remember.

Finally, in March this year the missing bollard was installed again, so the Ombudsman closed the case whilst at the same time “lamenting the delay caused by the Town Hall.” But the house owners were not happy, because they wanted to know why it was removed, who ordered it, and why it took so long to reinstall, so they are letting the legal suit run its course.

The Mayor, conservative, Eloy Martin has a simple explanation and is “surprised” by the extremes that the family has gone to over the affair. He pointed out that soon after the original bollard was installed they realised that the bollard prevented a neighbour getting machinery out of his storeroom, so the Town Hall removed it with the intention of putting a back a few centimetres further back to avoid this. The trouble is, he admits, that it took over a year to put it back.

“I realize that the delay is inexplicable and I recognize that it wasn’t right and I assure them that there was no ulterior motive behind it,” explained the Mayor.

(News: Gualchos, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)