'The city is starting to look a mess': Modern paving replaced with asphalt in city in 'temporary' fix

A Fulwood engineer was left so frustrated with the state of temporary repairs on Preston streets he began documenting the works by snapping pictures.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 5:43 pm

Asphalt is used to fill holes after urgent or emergency repairs have been carried out by Lancashire County Council, but residents have argued they are 'unsightly' and often remain there for 'months' despite being temporary.

Fulwood engineer Paul Balshaw became so frustrated with the state of Fishergate and other city-centre streets that he began photographing the temporary repairs and documenting them.

He said that the modern city-centre, which saw £3.4 million plunged into Fishergate’s "shared space" road scheme will 'becoming an eyesore' if the temporary fix continues.

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An example of the 'temporary' fix using asphalt in the city centre

Speaking to the Post, he said: "The high street in Preston, whilst lovely, won't be any more unless they replace the flags and repair all the cracks and loose paving stones both on the pavement and the road. If they don't, it will continue to become an eyesore.

"I get the bus into Preston a few times a week and think it is starting to look a complete mess and it just isn't in keeping with the area or the amount of money that has been spent on making it look nice in the first place.

"Workmen take the flags up and they just seem to disappear, so they use asphalt to replace it. Why can't they just put the same flagstones down instead of spending more time and money coming back to do the same job?

"What they have done with city looks great but these jobs look horrible and just ruin it. Millions have been spent on our city and it is starting to look unsightly and a real mess."

Paul has been documenting the fixtures on his visits into Preston

Preston city centre Councillor Salim Desai told the Post about flagstones that were stolen from Frenchwood Street in 2016, a heritage protected area, that today still remain filled up with 'temporary' asphalt.

He said: "If this had been a resident then they would have been taken to court and ordered to make good.

"There are numerous examples of this all over the city centre. I believe the issue is one of funding and the result of continuous cuts from the central Government, but we as residents are missing out.

"I think the roads need some in-depth surveying and building back up from scratch so we get a decent one-off repair and money isn't continuously being spent on repairs that don't fix the problem.

Lancashire County Council are currently carrying out 'emergency' road repairs on Fishergate

"The cost of placing 'temporary' asphalt will be negligible because they already have the overheads of the employee’s and the infrastructure. Also, I imagine the biggest reason for the quick repair will be to limit insurance cases from users trips and falls.

"We imagine that they would program in a return to the repair at some point to make a lasting permanent fix but this does not seem to be happening."

Just last week, Lancashire County Council announced they were closing an area of Fishergate for more emergency road repairs that are due to last until April 9.

They said that they are in discussions with Electricity North West to fix some of the temporary fix-ups on Fishergate.

Paul claims the city is 'starting to become an eyesore'

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "There is a 10 metre-long section on Fishergate where a temporary repair has been made by Electricity North West following emergency work to restore a loss of supply.

"We are currently in discussion with them to arrange for permanent repairs using like-for-like materials to this and other areas of the city centre where similar work has been carried out in recent months.

"There are also a number of places on Fishergate where we have made temporary repairs for safety until a permanent repair can be arranged.

"We're aware the temporary repairs are not in keeping with the appearance of this area and are working to arrange for flagstones to be replaced in all locations where they have had to be removed."

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