Historic cobbles ripped up during pavement works in St Albans road
- Credit: Will Turville
Historic cobbles more than 100 years old have been ripped up during pavement works in a St Albans street.
Contractors Ringway were employed by Herts Highways to remove the drop kerbs and paving stones in Gurney Court Road, replacing them with asphalt.
Despite protests from local residents, their beloved cobbles were ripped up and taken away to be used elsewhere in the county.
Homeowner Will Turville is furious at the decision, claiming the cobbles are part of the history of the local area and form an intrinsic part of their heritage.
"The builders who built this estate chose wisely when choosing these cobbles, and the fact that they are still here is testament to that.
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"What is most galling is that under the terms of the contract for the works, cobbles that are in good condition are not supposed to be removed.
"I was trying to point this out to the contractors that the ones outside my house were in fact fit for purpose, without danger to the public, as they proceeded to try and rip them up.
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"So the character of our street continues to be bulldozed without any care for the wants or needs of the residents. Many appeals have been made in this regard over the last few months but to deaf ears.
"We, it would seem, have no say in how our street is maintained even though we are the actual community living there."
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “We’re resurfacing the pavements in Gurney Court Road and this involves replacing the slab paving with an asphalt surface.
"Where possible we do remove slab paving and replace it with asphalt as paving slabs are difficult to maintain and can cause trip hazards for people using the pavement.
"We have written to all residents of Gurney Court Road with an information bulletin explaining the works.”
“Some of the cobbles that form part of dropped kerbs on the road have either failed or are starting to fail, so cannot be safely left in place.
"We are replacing these cobbles with an asphalt surface as part of the pavement resurfacing, as this is safer and easier to maintain in future.
"Where the cobbles are still in good condition we are leaving them in place for now.”