Some vehicles, including a fire engine, are being driven on to the pavement to negotiate a way around a temporary road closure aimed at stopping rat-runners through a Bradford housing estate.

A six-inch-high plastic barrier has been installed by Bradford Council in St Margaret’s Road, Holme Wood, just off Knowles Lane and Tong Street, with roadside signs warning of the closure.

But vehicles, including a fire engine, have been spotted taking to the pavement and a grass verge to get round the barrier.

And at least one motorist has complained that he damaged his car after trying to drive across the barrier, which he said he had not noticed because vandals had torn reflective warning bollards from it.

The road closure started last September as an 18-month experiment to dissuade drivers from trying to avoid rush-hour snarl-ups in Tong Street.

But Richard Rushworth, 30, of West Bowling, has complained to the Council after he said he unwittingly drove over the barrier at night, damaging his car. He has argued that the Council is responsible as the vandalised warning bollards had been replaced.

“My car is not safe to drive and I haven’t got the money to fix it,” he said.

“We were stuck on this bump for about six minutes with the wheel spinning and it gave me bald tyres on the front.

“Just imagine if you live on that road and you have a fire in your house and the fire engine gets stuck on that bump. I filmed a fire engine driving around it on to the pavement “The Council told me it was a temporary road closure which is going to be made permanent to stop people using it as a rat-run and it has bendy bollards, but the bollards have been ripped out.

“It has caused damage to my car and the road was not lit up so I didn’t know it was there. I have lived around here for 30 years and it has always been a road you could go down.

“A resident told me the bollards have been ripped out four times and people are driving on the pavement to go over it.”

Darren Badrock, Bradford Council's principal engineer, said: “Following complaints from residents and local councillors about motorists speeding on St Margaret’s Road and using it as a rat-run, Bradford South Area Committee decided to close the road last September for 18 months as an experiment.

“This was widely publicised in the Telegraph & Argus and there are signs advising motorists of no-through road at both Knowles Lane and Broadstone Way.

"We are aware that the bollards were vandalised before Christmas and our contractors will be coming back to install stronger ones this month.”

Watch Commander Matthew Goodall, of Odsal fire station, confirmed that his crews were aware of the restriction, but he said appliances could get over the access bump without any problem when required.

“In relation to the appliance mounting the kerb we do not advocate it and are conducting an internal investigation about that,” said Mr Goodall.