Work to replace Lichfield city centre’s historic style paving is set to start in the new year.
In 2007 city centre streets were paved with heritage style stones as part of a major project. The paving scheme transformed the city centre and enhanced the streets’ historic features.
Over the last eight years, some of the stones have begun to breakdown and come loose. Now, through partnership work by Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield District Council, Lichfield City Council, a replacement programme will be carried out and start on January 18, subject to weather.
The roads that will be repaved include Conduit Street, the lower part of Market Street (alongside Market Square) and Breadmarket Street. While the replacement paving will not look identical to the existing stones, they will be the same blocks as used elsewhere in Lichfield, which have proved to be attractive and long lasting. The new stones are mechanically finished to create a distressed and aged feel, while being tougher and more durable.
The project is being joint funded by Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council using funds that were set aside from the original project to maintain and upkeep the paving.
Staffordshire County Council’s Economy and Transport Leader, Mark Winnington, said: “Ensuring our town centres are attractive places to visit is an important part of their wider regeneration and make them more attractive places to invest. This work involves removing the existing stones and bedding layer and replacing them with a stronger material. We plan to close the roads in a set sequence, to allow the works to take place as safely and efficiently as possible. We know there will be some disruption to disabled drivers who pass through and park in the city centre, as well as to delivery drivers. We will be keeping the city centre open to delivery drivers by setting up a diversionary route to avoid any closed roads.”
The first phase, which will take approximately five, weeks will see Conduit Street closed and repaved in two separate sections. Traffic will be diverted from Tamworth Street along Bore Street and access to Breadmarket Street, Market Street and Dam Street will still be possible.
The second phase, which will take approximately five weeks, will see the lower part of Market Street (that boarders Market Square) closed. Traffic will be remain diverted along Bore Street and access to Breadmarket Street and Conduit Street will still be possible. Access to Dam Street will be possible down the newly repaved Conduit Street which will reopen before stage two begins.
The third phase, which will take approximately four weeks, will see Breadmarket Street closed. Traffic will remain diverted along Bore Street. However, access to Dam Street and Market Street will be possible via Conduit Street.
The pavements will remain open throughout the works so local businesses will operate as usual.
Councillor Ian Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Development & Environment at Lichfield District Council, said: “It is disappointing that the original paving stones have not been of the quality we expected, but we’re pleased the works will be starting soon as it will improve the look and feel of the city centre.”
Christopher Moulton, Lichfield City Town Clerk, commented: “We have been replacing the paving stones on the Market Square in a phased approach and so the Market Square is not part of this project. This will mean that, unlike last time, the markets will not have to be relocated. This was one of the most tricky elements to manage, so any disruption should be reduced considerably.”
The 14-week project will cost £250,000.