Fears raised over dangerous paving slabs near St Albans Christmas market

The paving slabs outside the St Albans Christmas Market could pose a safety hazard

The paving slabs outside the St Albans Christmas Market could pose a safety hazard - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the safety of shoppers at the Christmas market after broken paving slabs have been left neglected.

The St Albans Christmas market, located near the cathedral in the Vintry Gardens, opened two weeks ago and is frequented by thousands of visitors across the festive season.

But the paving slabs in the pathway leading down to the market from the Clock Tower, named Waxhouse Gate, pose a substantial trip hazard.

Ronald Gribble, of Field Close, Harpenden, wrote to the Herts Advertiser about his concerns. He said: “These ancient flagstones have been trod on for centuries by pilgrims visiting the Abbey, but in recent years they have been broken and made dangerously loose.”

He continued: “In the daylight more than half a dozen cracked and unstable paving slabs are a trip hazard if not spotted in time. In the dark they are an accident waiting to happen.”


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St Albans district council, which runs the Christmas Market, maintains that the pathway comes under the jurisdiction of Herts County Council (HCC) but they did carry out safety inspections in October this year.

Richard Shwe, the district council’s head of community services, said: “Some concerns about the condition of the paving slabs were raised by us and the county council’s assessment was that a further inspection will be undertaken early next year.

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“The Christmas Market has been open since November 26 and no safety concerns have been raised with us nor have we had any reports of accidents.”

Kevin Carrol, Ringway divisional manager, working on behalf of HCC, said: “Large scale repairs, including work to repair flagstones, were made on Waxhouse Gate in June 2014.

“We continue to monitor the condition of the footway with six monthly inspections, with the next one due later this month and ad hoc inspections by the Local Network Team.”

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