Northampton Borough Council’s claim of finishing works in St Giles Street six-weeks early may have been slightly premature - as workers will have to repaint a set of parking bays that were too narrow to fit cars in.
The £3 million scheme to renovate the town’s award-winning shopping street has seen the length of the road resurfaced and its pavements made wider. Though tree planters and new lighting are yet to be installed the council reopened the road at the end of last week “six weeks early.” But shopkeepers have reported the new parking bays, which offer a two-hour maximum stay, are too thin to park larger cars in. It is understood the borough council has ordered contractors to repaint the bays, but it is not yet known when this will take happen or whether the road will need to be closed for the work to take place. As the road itself is now much thinner due to the widened pavement, there is also some concern that Blue Badge holders could cause disruption by parking on the double yellow lines there. So far St Giles traders are unsure about the works completed so far. Branch manager of Underwoods Town and County, Amy Campbell, said: “When the buses come down here there could be a lot of issues, the road is so narrow. If there is a bus at the stop it causes a lot of issues. “It looks nice, but it’s not very practical.” Sales assistant at the Manna House, Matthew Maunder, said the works themselves caused a lot of disruption to traders. Phase one of the revamp started back in February. “We remain hopeful that it’s going to be a positive change,” he said. “At the moment, it looks like a lot of disruption for not so big a benefit. “Only time will tell.” Owner of Parties 2 Amaze Sharon George is remaining more positive about the works, however. “I’m certainly glad it’s over,” she said. “But I’m sure the customers will appreciate a wider pavement. “I think regardless of whatever money the council spend, they can’t win, people will always be unhappy.”