Residents slam ‘shoddy’ repair job after paving stones replaced with tarmac | UK | News

Workmen filled the holes with tarmac

Workmen filled the holes with tarmac (Image: SWNS)

Resident of Oswestry in Shropshire were shocked to discover the botched repair job dubbed “crazy paving” left behind by broadband contractors last week. Instead of properly replacing the original stone paving, the workmen filled the holes with tarmac, resulting in an unsightly zig-zag pattern of asphalt along the street.

Shoppers and workers in the area have labelled the eyesore as a trip hazard and deemed it a “disgrace” to be in front of such an important historical building. The 25-foot (7m) stretch of black tarmac runs alongside the Grade I listed Llwyd Mansion, which dates back to the 15th century.

Helen Morgan, the town’s MP, criticised the “haphazard repair work” and has written to Shropshire Council demanding answers.

The council stated the work was carried out by contractors on behalf of Openreach, who refilled the holes when the original paving stones were damaged. However, residents claim no action has been taken to address the problem since the mess was left behind last week.

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The Grade I listed Llwyd Mansion dates back to the 15th century

The Grade I listed Llwyd Mansion dates back to the 15th century (Image: SWNS)

Darren Porter, a local resident, described the situation as a disgrace and insisted it needs to be resolved immediately.

He expressed his frustration, stating: “It’s a disgrace how they have left it and it needs sorting out straight away. This zig-zag of crazy paving is not in keeping with the historic character of the area and I just can’t believe how they made such a mess.

“All they had to do was lift the stones and place them back down again and instead we are left with his absolute eyesore outside one of our most historic buildings.”

A builder, known only as Dave, criticised the decision to opt for the cheapest fix. He said: “They’ve just gone with the cheapest fix. In my experience from working from slabs you can just lift them off without having to break them so I don’t understand why they’ve had to do this.

“It’s a mess and it’s raised in certain parts so it could be a trip hazard. It’s in front of the second oldest building in town. Why would they do it in front of such an historic building?”

Residents have been left fuming

Residents have been left fuming (Image: SWNS)

Other residents echoed the sentiment, expressing their disappointment with the situation. One who wished to remain anonymous said: “It’s ridiculous. It used to be lovely, the council would come down and maintain them. The paving stones get steam cleaned twice a year. It looks horrible now.”

Shopper Clare said: “It’s absolutely hideous, they’ve done up a building down the road with the same workmanship. It’s so shoddy. They need to come and fix it as soon as possible.”

Lib Dem MP for North Shropshire Helen Morgan said: “Residents of Oswestry want to live in a town they can take pride in. Sadly, that has been made a lot harder since the council installed ugly barriers that cost £8,000 a month on Church Street, and now this haphazard repair work on Cross Street.

“I have written to the chief executive demanding an explanation of how this has been allowed to happen on, and what they are going to do to remedy it. I know that local councillors, residents, and businesses are up in arms about this. They want the best for Oswestry and deserve a proper explanation from Shropshire Council – and, more importantly, a proper solution.”

Picturesque Oswestry town centre

Picturesque Oswestry town centre (Image: SWNS)

Shropshire Council acknowledged the contractors carried out a temporary reinstatement of the site on behalf of Openreach. However, they expressed disappointment they were not informed in advance about the interim reinstatement.

A Shropshire Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately it would appear that a number of the stone slabs were damaged whilst being removed and it would not have been safe to relay these, hence the need for an interim reinstatement to keep the area safe for the public.

“We completely understand the frustration of local residents, but under current national legislation utilities companies are permitted to do this type of repair provided that a permanent repair of the surface is complete within six months.

“We totally understand that to wait this long will not be acceptable, and we are already taking steps to put pressure on Openreach to prioritise a permanent repair sooner than the permitted timescale.

“Openreach and their contractors are currently seeking replacement stone slabs with a view to getting these relayed as soon as possible. The area will be monitored by the council’s streetworks team and we will be in liaison with Openreach to get this area reinstated to a satisfactory state as soon as is practical.”

A spokesperson for OpenReach said: “As is sometimes the case, we’ve put a temporary repair in place here to keep the pavement open and safe for local residents. We know that the permanent fix needs to happen as quickly as possible, as the temporary tarmac is very different to the existing surface.

“Yesterday (Wed) we received a number of paving stone samples that we’re matching up with the help of the local council. As soon as the new stones are delivered, our contractor will be back out to remove the dark tarmac and replace with the new surface.

“We know how important it is to carry out the work as quickly and safely as possible, and return the pavement to how it previously was.”

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up’s editorial research. A news editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected].

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