Council responds to criticism over digging up of recently-laid pavement near Royal & Derngate

A stretch of pavement on Guildhall Road, which was dug up shortly after being laid, had prompted complaints from the town's Liberal Democrats group.
A stretch of pavement on Guildhall Road, which was dug up shortly after being laid, had prompted complaints from the town's Liberal Democrats group.

Digging up parts of the pavement in Guildhall Road that was completed just before Christmas was always part of the plan, the leader of the council has said.

Works to repave Guildhall Road, widen the pathway to accommodate tables and chairs, create parking spaces and plant trees began in September.

However in recent weeks the pavement has been broken up to install additional lighting on the road.

The town’s Liberal Democrat group have said this highlights a ‘lack of forethought’.

Councillor Brendan Glynane (Lib Dem, Delapre) said: “Street lights on the road were not wired-in before paving was laid, and so the paving has had to be lifted in several places to do it now. How much is this costing? How utterly ridiculous.”

Twitter users had also questioned why the works appeared to have been completed, only to be dug up again shortly afterwards.

People should be reassured that there is no additional cost for this second phase of the planned works

David Mackintosh

But the borough council said it was always the intention to complete the works in two stages and the additional lighting will be installed at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said that work paused throughout December so there was no disruption to businesses during the busy Christmas shopping period.

He added: “In this final stage of work which began last week, new light columns will be installed and the work will be completed during March.

“All of the work for this final stage will take place during the day, ensuring impact on businesses is kept to a minimum.”

Councillor Mackintosh said that as several different contractors are involved in completing thew work, it has been split into phases to according to contractors’ timetables and availability of materials.

He went on to say: “People should be reassured that there is no additional cost for this second phase of the planned works which will see new lighting, planters and trees installed.

“The last stage will be a road closure on the afternoon of Sunday, March 15 for final works to the road and a deep clean.

“The improvements to Guildhall Road are already helping to attract investment with the development of Vulcan Works as a creative hub, creating 240 jobs, the creation of a boutique hotel at 13-15 Guildhall Road and the extension of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.”