20 January 2010

Work will be carried out to the road surface on part of Northampton’s public realm project to repair faults and ensure the final finish of the road is of the highest possible standard.

The work, which will take about nine weeks to complete, will see the granite blocks which line the side of Marefair and Black Lion Hill removed and replaced with a conventional longer-life asphalt surface. Gold Street is unaffected.

The repair works are planned to start on February 1 and disruption will be kept to a minimum with an emphasis placed on night-time road closures. However it is unavoidable that some bus routes will have to be diverted.

Cllr Heather Smith, Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, growth and transport, said: “The public realm scheme is a key step in working towards long-term growth in Northampton so it’s important that any remedial work is of the highest possible standard and is done as soon as possible.

“While some ad-hoc repairs have been carried out, in the long-term this is not a realistic or a cost-effective solution, so we have no option than to press ahead with these permanent repairs.

“We had decided to start the work in the New Year to avoid the busy Christmas period but work has been delayed because of the severe winter weather. We recognise that there will be some disruption but hopefully we can keep this to a minimum.”

Marefair and Black Lion Hill were rejuvenated as part of the Northampton public realm project, the scheme which focused on providing safer, more pedestrian friendly streets on the route from the railway station to All Saints Church in the town centre.

A prominence was placed on enhancing the appearance of the route including the use of natural materials to complement the historic buildings in that part of the town.

The cost of the works will be £285,000 and the county council is working with the scheme’s designers and the contractors that were used for the project with a view to recovering these costs.

The £6 million public realm regeneration project has been funded by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) and Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited and delivered by Northamptonshire County Council in partnership with Northampton Borough Council.