Stafford town centre paving 'more dangerous than A-boards'
The "jigsaw" like condition of Stafford town centre’s paving is more of a hazard to pedestrians than the A-boards considered an obstruction by county council staff, it has been claimed.
Traders were furious to find their advertising boards had been moved from Market Square, Greengate Street and Gaolgate Street following a visit from two Staffordshire County Council representatives in recent days.
They have vowed to continue putting out their boards to signpost shoppers to their premises – despite being told they were causing an obstruction to the public highway.
Stafford Borough Council member Chris Baron, who represents the town's Forebridge ward, has said uneven paving, loose slabs and gaps on the county council-managed areas of Market Square and Greengate Street pose more perils to shoppers however.
There are also several areas where dark Tarmac has been used instead of the pale paving.
She said: “What are they trying to do – kill off Stafford Town? I would be most disappointed if the candle shop went – I go there a lot.
“People are crying out for small businesses and independent retailers. How are people who are visiting the town supposed to know where these businesses are?
“If businesses place A-boards carefully, being aware of people with visual impairments or mobility issues, why not have them?
“I’ve walked down there and believe me – A-boards aren’t the only things there. There are bollards too. It’s like a jigsaw – people have fallen on the broken slabs.”
Councillor Baron has reported the defects to Staffordshire County Council on several occasions, she added, and said ward councillor Maureen Compton had agreed to contribute some of the funding she has available towards tackling highways issues in her area towards improving conditions in the town centre.
Councillor Baron said: “I know there is funding available but they haven’t told me when it’s going to be done. It should have been done years ago – it’s like an obstacle course and frankly it’s much more dangerous than the A-boards."
Helen Fisher, cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council said: "Our highways teams do carry out regular inspections of our footpads and any problems identified are prioritised according to the risk they may cause to the public.
"We have identified a number of repairs relating to the block paving in the town centre which will be carried out when resources are available."