Several residents have asked when the cobblestones underneath the station canopy will be repaired. The council has temporary laid down black tarmac to cover areas where there has been cracking and dislodging of the cobblestones, apparently as a result of a chemical reaction to the materials that were used to lay the surface. I agree that the tarmac is unsightly and detracts from what is supposed to be a modernised and improved entrance to the town from Albion Square.
At a meeting of the Town Centre Oversight Panel last night I was able to quiz council officers on the reasons for the delay in making the necessary repairs. I am told there are currently contractual issues between the suppliers and the maintenance company which need to be resolved, and the intention is to carry out the work as part of the wider redevelopment of the town centre that will be carried out through construction of the Victoria Square project. This means that the cobblestones are not likely to be replaced for some time yet, and probably not for several years.
While this is a disappointing reply, I appreciate that there is merit in waiting until the repairs can be carried alongside the much bigger development work planned for the town centre. At last night’s meeting we were given a preview of the latest display materials which will be used as part of the public consultation and engagement campaign to inform residents about plans for Victoria Square. This project has the potential to substantially transform the town centre for the better and increase the quality and diversity of shops, restaurants and public services in the borough.