LARGE areas of pavement in Liverpool’s busy city centre shopping district are to be re-covered with Tarmac, in a bid to save almost £2m and avoid more roadworks in 2008.
The city council has announced plans to replace unsightly and broken flagstones around the Clayton Square and St John’s shopping centres, which city leaders say currently resemble a “patchwork quilt”.
Undamaged flagstones dug up from four areas in Parker Street, Elliot Street and Houghton Street will then be used to improve the look of other areas.
The final cost of the scheme is still to be determined, but will be under £75,000.
Cllr Mike Storey, the council’s executive member for regeneration said last night that to replace the present pavement with quality flags would cost in the region of £2m, and would also mean roads in the area being dug up during the Capital of Culture year celebrations.
“These streets currently look like a very badly worn patchwork quilt,” said Cllr Storey. “There are small patches which have been reinstated using Tarmac, some of the paving flags are cracked, and there are other areas where different coloured flags have been used.
“For an area where a huge number of people walk through every day, this is not acceptable, so we have to look at a way in which we can improve the look of the streets but do it quickly so that it is done in time for the main period of Christmas shoppers and in time for 2008.”
The work will start early in October and take about six weeks.
It involves putting Tarmac in the carriageways of Houghton Street, at the junction of Elliot Street and Parker Street, and at the junction of Parker Street and Church Street.
Cllr Storey said: “Paving flags removed from these areas will be ‘recycled’ by using them to replace cracked flags and small areas which have been previously reinstated using Tarmac.
“If we were able to do this work to the same standard of the work in Church Street, using high-quality materials, it would cost in the region of £2m, but it would mean that we had these important streets dug up during Capital of Culture year.
“We are aware there are plans to carry out major works at the St John’s Centre and the Clayton Square Shopping Centre.
“It does not make a great deal of sense to do major repaving works if they have to be ripped up soon after for schemes such as this.
“It is far more sensible to provide an interim solution which will look much better, improve safety and decrease our maintenance costs, and enable pedestrians and delivery lorries to go about their business with the minimum of disruption.”
Shops and other businesses are now being consulted about temporary changes in arrangements for deliveries.