The Observer Says:
WHAT will it take to make county council chiefs sit up and take notice of the sorry state of Leamington’s main street?
For almost a decade now The Observer has daily witnessed delivery vans and other vehicles illegally parking on the crumbling pavements of the Parade without punishment.
A £2.2million facelift carried out in 2006 was designed to make the pavements ‘safer and more pedestrian-friendly’ but the project was subject to a flood of complaints about shoddy workmanship.
Back in 2008, we counted more than 250 broken, cracked, damaged or uneven slabs on the stretch of pavement from Clarendon Avenue to the junction with Regent Street and that was only down one side.
Council chiefs blamed the cracked slabs on drivers parking illegally and this led to new parking restrictions and signs being installed, which were meant to ban parking or stopping on the Parade at any time.
But delivery drivers continued to flout the rules and council contractors even began to get in on the act – parking on the very pavements they were being sent to repair.
The problem is one we have repeatedly highlighted, and one which gets many readers hot under the collar.
And after years of championing the cause, it seemed highway chiefs were finally willing to take action when they said they were considering prevention measures including bollards back in March.
But six months later they insisted there had not been enough damage to justify putting any such measures in place.
An eagle-eyed reader recently spotted a county council van parked up illegally on the pavement – not for the first time.
And when we pointed it out to the council, they claimed contractors had been repeatedly warned not to park on the pavements.
However they would not confirm whether any more than a stern ‘talking to’ had been given to those in question.
Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent on repairs to the hundreds of cracked and uneven paving slabs since 2011, but it’s been money down the drain as nothing has been – or looks set to be – done to tackle the obvious cause of the problem.
The vicious tail-chasing circle of repairs would be slightly comical if it was not for the fact the county council is trying to save £92million over the next few years.
Services are being cut left right and centre and taxpayers’ money should not be being needlessly thrown down the drain – or in this case, the cracks in the pavement – for something, which is at best, unnecessary and at worst, unavoidable.
If you spot anyone parking illegally on the Parade, take a picture and send it to us, and we will pass them on to the council which may eventually be embarrassed enough to actually doing something about the problem.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your pictures.