A BOLLARD that cost thousands of pounds to install is continuously breaking down because people are jumping on it.
The electrical set-up of the £48,000 system is believed to fail if it is stood, jumped or sat on.
Traders along Causewayhead, Penzance, say the traffic-calming measure has been a success but the regular mechanical issues have been branded a joke.
"It has got to be broken fortnightly," said Paul Shaw of Waves Café Bar and chairman of the Causewayhead Traders' Association.
"It breaks when people stand on it, hit it and nudge it with their cars. How much is a result of it being vandalised or being faulty, or is it not fit for purpose? It is a standing joke."
Despite the jamming issues, Mr Shaw did say the bollard has been an asset to the street.
"From the point of view of shop owners it is fantastic because it has stopped all that unnecessary traffic coming up and down the street," he said.
"It has created a much more pleasant environment for the customers and residents and a safer environment but it is a pain that it keeps going wrong."
The new traffic measure was paid for thanks to Cornwall councillors Ruth Lewarne and Tamsin Williams pooling their £24,000 highways budgets.
The bollard rises and falls to allow vehicles in and out of Causewayhead. When a motorist drives up to the post, it registers on a sensor and makes the bollard rise or fall.
It was introduced because motorists were routinely flouting rules that barred all vehicles from driving through the street apart from those loading and unloading deliveries. These motors are also stopped from using Causewayhead between 10am and 4pm Fridays and Saturdays.
Councillor Lewarne said repairs to the bollard were currently covered under guarantee but she appealed to people to stop vandalising the traffic measure.
The bollard is also covered by CCTV, with a 24-hour recording monitored by Cornwall Council. Any motorist seen damaging the bollard can be traced and made to pay for the cost of repairs.
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said the bollard was operational the majority of the time but there were issues with children jumping on it. This causes it to go to fail safe mode and stop working. The bollard then needs to be reactivated before it can be of any more use.
"It increases the down time of the bollard and reduces the time that it is enforcing the traffic order," said the spokesman. "This endangers people by allowing vehicles to drive down the street unimpeded."