Shrewsbury Pride Hill work branded a ‘disgrace’
Works on Shrewsbury’s Pride Hill were today declared a “disgrace” – as it was revealed a second stage has been postponed.
The leader of Shrewsbury Town Council says he is furious at the disruption caused, and called on Shropshire Council’s highways boss to “consider his position”.
Councillor Alan Moseley claims there have been repeated delays and a reported lack of workmen. He is now questioning why a new trench is being dug on the pedestrianised area.
Contractor Casey was due to carry out surfacing works in High Street to the foot of Pride Hill this autumn.
But that work has been removed from the ‘contract scope’ by ‘mutual agreement’. The work will now take place at the end of April to ensure that the original November 9 completion date for works on Pride Hill is met.
Councillor Mosley today asked whether Shropshire Council’s highways cabinet member Steve Davenport was “up to the job” and added: “I believe he should consider his position.”
“The work on Pride Hill has been a disgrace from beginning to end. The current farce in the town centre is intolerable and is causing great problems for those living, working, visiting and doing business in the town.
“There is much criticism, ongoing confusion, changes in plans, stop/start working and now delays and reprogramming of the overall scheme. The town and Shropshire Council are no doubt suffering great damage to their reputations and our economic development will suffer.
“I am disgusted by what is happening to our town. The work does not seem to be moving on at all and it is greatly harming the town’s reputation.
"Something needs to be done on this and some explanation given to the businesses and public about what on earth is going on there. There have been problems with the delivery of each phase of the integrated transport plan in Shrewsbury.”
The works to Pride Hill are to lay new stone setts and install street furniture, planters and new lighting.
It is part of the £12 million integrated plan that has seen projects carried out across Shrewsbury including at Meole Brace roundabout and on the English Bridge, Abbey Foregate and Gyratory.
The work to Pride Hill has attracted considerable criticism from a number of quarters. Shrewsbury’s MP Daniel Kawczynski has held several meetings with bosses from Casey demanding reassurances the work will be completed on time.
Mr Davenport, who declined to comment on Councillor Mosley’s suggestion, added: “In line with the programme of improvements on Pride Hill, Shropshire Council’s contractor Casey is working to an agreed work plan. In order to manage the flow of works, there are instances where temporary reinstatement of the surface is required in advance of the final high quality finishes.
“Shropshire Council continues to work with local businesses and Shrewsbury BID, and to respond to matters raised by the public as works progress. Instances of temporary infill allow the active works site to be temporarily reduced in size and barriers pulled back to allow the maximum area for pedestrians and deliveries along this busy street alongside the works.
“The final finishes will be laid in due course to continue the full upgrade of the Pride Hill area.”
Work began on Pride Hill in April. The current phase to the top of the street is due to end in early October and the work will then move to the bottom half of Pride Hill.