Pavement ‘black top’ repairs are an eyesore

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BOB Hart echoes my own thoughts completely, in last week’s letters page, on the subject of so-called ‘temporary’ black top repairs on Hastings pavements.

The town centre is becoming a chessboard made up of squares of paving slabs and tarmacadam, and it appears we are powerless to stop it. As Bob says, is this just “good enough for Hastings?”

I have raised this issue on a number of occasions at town centre partnership meetings where representatives of both county and borough are present, and it appears that the main culprits are either East Sussex Highways Department attending to trip hazards caused by broken paving, or utility companies carrying out underground repairs – a choice of water, gas, telecoms or electricity.

The point is that nobody seems to know or care ‘after the event’ who is responsible for the most recent square of cheap blacktop that was merrily stamped into place after the earlier consignment of the more expensive paving slab(s) to the skip following the repair.

Recent areas of refurbishment in Havelock Road and even the decorative stone slabs in front of the town hall have fallen victim, so it won’t be long before all the new paving around the college becomes infected – what on earth is the point of installing a high standard of paving and then tolerating what amounts to vandalism of the public realm thereafter?

An East Sussex county councillor even suggested that if I see a contractor installing blacktop in the town centre I could take a photograph and note the time and date to help identify who might be responsible for it, presumably with a view to enforce some contractual obligation that the area be repaired to original standard at some undetermined date in the future. Must we have volunteer ‘black top policing’?

While I can guarantee that the chessboard effect will not creep over the boundary of Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, I have no control over contractors working outside it – but surely someone must?

JOHN HOUGH

Manager,

Priory Meadow Shopping Centre