October 31 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
A cobbled road in Ely which campaigners said was dangerous for cyclists and cars alike has been replaced….with more cobbles.
Small sections of cobbles run from Minster Place, near High Street, right through The Gallery and down to Back Hill and were originally installed to slow traffic running through the heart of the city.
But, in recent months, campaigners have inundated Cambridgeshire County Council with requests to replace the cobbles with a more appropriate surface because they are difficult for cyclists to navigate and can cause damage to car and bike tyres alike.
And, after long negotiations, the county council agreed with campaigners that it would investigate the cobbles to see if something more appropriate could be installed in their place, with workmen from the council’s highways team moving into the area late last month.
But it quickly became clear that the workmen were simply replacing the cobbles with more cobbles, contrary to what campaigners say had been agreed.
Taking to community forum ShapeYourPlace, people were quick to vent their anger.
Andy Banks posted: “This is an absolute shambles. I would laugh at the incompetence, but as I use that piece of road every day to get to work I don’t find it remotely funny.
“What is it going to take for the council to understand how important this route and the continuing journey on to the rail station is?”
Sean McSweeney said: “This is quite incredible and makes me wonder why we bother talking to council officials and why they bother pretending to listen.
“I was present at the site meeting where the problem of the cobbles was clearly spelt out, and as it proceeded from there it seemed that we were going to get a sensible result. And now this.
“I just hope that this has been spotted in time and that the cobbles will be replaced as was originally agreed.”
And former City of Ely councillor, Christine Jones, added: “This is another example of incompetence caused by lack of communication. It causes untold damage, cost and irritation to the people you supposedly serve. Poor show.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said that highways officers had investigated whether a more suitable material could be sourced suitable for the conservation area and to replace the cobbles but none was found within its budget. As such, the council decided to simply repair any loose or broken cobbles instead. The spokesman added that no further work would be done.