2021 Staff Pick: Nothing Is Safe From This Width Restrictor Intent On Destruction

This width restrictor in Watford will destroy anything that crosses its path
Gif: Tim Vigor

We’ve shared some of 2021’s most read posts in our Best of 2021, now we’re sharing a few that our staffers think are worth a second look. These are our 2021 Staff Picks.


The road is a dangerous place. There are low bridges on a mission to scrape your roof, deer intent on damaging your front end and, for drivers in one UK town, a width restrictor intent on writing off your car.

On an unassuming road in Watford, just outside London in the UK, a width restrictor has been installed to stop large trucks and vehicles driving into the area.

However, the restrictor on Woodmere Avenue appears to be wreaking havoc on drivers behind the wheel of more modest-sized cars as they keep colliding with it.

The restrictor, which prevents cars larger than 7ft from driving through, has reinforced bollards flanking its sides. It’s these bollards that have so far caught out everything from a VW Golf to a police van.

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The traffic measure is now so notorious for its assault on wheels, tires and body panels that it has spawned its own Facebook group, and a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing some of the most extreme incidents.

This video from YouTube channel Woodmere Avenue Crashes shows all the incidents from a six-week period. In it, cars such as the micro-sized Toyota Aygo and a BMW X5 all collide with with the obstacle. Truly, nothing is safe.


According to Car Scoops, the severity of the restrictor has gotten so great that it has even warranted debate by the UK government.


The article said:

Such is the issue that Watford MP Dean Russell raised the issue in parliament in September, asking for a different kind of width restriction to be installed.

“‘This is something that I have been working on for quite some time now, securing an adjournment debate in the House of Commons and raising at ministerial level,’ Russell said.”


As well as debate in parliament, a petition has also been set up calling for the restrictor to be ripped up. It has so far gained more than 800 signatures.

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