New street surface welcomed but fears over how long it will remain unblemished
Cheltenham Civic Society (CCS) has welcomed the resurfacing of Cambray Place in Cheltenham town centre after years of campaigning for it.
But many people have already expressed fears for when the first ‘tarmac cowpat’ patch will blemish its new surface. One such tarmac patch has already appeared on the recently resurfaced footpaths in the Minster’s churchyard – much to many people’s annoyance.
The ‘tarmac cowpat’ problem in Cambray Place evolved over many years. The sea of tarmac patches reached an intolerable state, so for more than three years, the Civic Society has campaigned hard for the paving to be resurfaced.
“While we are pleased that Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) has finally paid for the resurfacing, the problem was entirely of its own making,” said CCS chair, Andrew Booton. “For over a decade, GCC has failed to enforce the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 – which requires utility companies and other contractors to reinstate road and paving surfaces to the correct standard and as soon as possible.
“This failure not only made an eyesore out of Cambray Place but has also allowed street contractors to get away with this horrible habit elsewhere. As a result, tarmac patches have spread like measles and are already beginning to blight our prestigious Promenade.”
Last year, the Civic Society made the repair of Cambray Place one of the ten points of our ‘Town Centre Manifesto’. The Society’s continuous campaigning has seen some progress on over half of the ten points, but Cambray Place is the only one that can now be ticked off the list.
“We will continue to campaign to return the town centre to a standard that Cheltonians can be proud of,” added Andrew Booton. “Neither GCC nor Cheltenham Borough Council should be patting themselves on the back for anything yet. They both still have a very long way to go to raise the quality of our town centre to the standard of comparable places like Oxford and Bath – and even Cirencester.”