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Stone 'cobbles' in Stamford's Red Lion Square to be replaced

Controversial ‘cobbles’ in a town centre are to be ripped up and replaced.

The Yorkstone setts in Stamford's Red Lion Square have been the source of plenty of nasty trips since they were laid 14 years ago - as well as arguments over replacing them with Tarmac.

But now Lincolnshire County Council plans to take out the stones - many of which have cracked or 'lifted' under the weight and movement of HGV tyres.

Some of the trips have happened as people crossed the road
Some of the trips have happened as people crossed the road

The council’s scheme for the square would see all the current stones replaced with thicker setts, on a stronger base. This, they say, would make the surface more robust while maintaining the 'heritage look'.

Work is expected to start next year and the cost is not yet known.

Coun Richard Davies, (Con - Grantham West) Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for highways, said: “Residents have made it clear to us that the stone setts in Red Lion Square are important to them in preserving the town’s character.

"However, with vehicle movements causing the stones to crack or lift and creating a trip hazard, it’s clear that something needs to be done to make the road safer and reduce the bill for local taxpayers of ongoing maintenance.

Many of the stone setts have 'lifted' out of place in Red Lion Square, Stamford
Many of the stone setts have 'lifted' out of place in Red Lion Square, Stamford

“The option we have come up with will preserve the look of the stone setts, but provide a much stronger base and have thicker stones to deal with the traffic moving through the square.

“Whilst we are still finalising and costing-up the plans, we hope to be able to start work in 2022.

"Investing in improving the road surface in Red Lion Square now will drastically reduce the risk to pedestrians from raised stones and the need for constant repairs.”

Coun David Brailsford (Con - Stamford West) said he was pleased the resurfacing might help the town ‘move on’ from one of the more divisive issues that has affected it in recent times.

“Many residents have been extremely unhappy with the condition of the road surface in Red Lion Square for many years,” he said.

“There have been far too many incidents of pedestrians falling over and needing hospital treatment for broken bones.

“Therefore, to hear at long last something is going to be done is most welcome.”

Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Kelham Cooke (Con - Casewick) also welcomed the proposed changes.

He said: “It is fantastic news that Lincolnshire County Council has agreed to a sympathetic repair of Red Lion Square; the replacement of the stone cobbles is welcome news for Stamford.

"These works will not only help keep shoppers safe and reduce the risk of trips or falls, but they will also preserve our town’s heritage.

"Stamford is renowned for its picturesque streets and I am pleased that a solution has been found that protects pedestrians while maintaining the unique character of the best stone town in the UK.”

What do you think about this plan? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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