Some see red over resur­fac­ing

Midweek Visiter - - News -

FORMER South­port MP John Pugh has slammed the de­ci­sion to resur­face Lord Street in black as a piece of “civic van­dal­ism”, fur­ther erod­ing the dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter of the historic Vic­to­rian boule­vard.

The Lib­eral Demo­crat, who stepped down as MP ear­lier this year, said: “When Lord Street was last resur­faced and Sefton Coun­cil was un­der fi­nan­cial pres­sure, the money for red tar­mac was found but the vo­cal re­sent­ment of Boo­tle coun­cil­lors was in­tense and is on record.

“The coun­cil then was hung and we in­sisted on pre­serv­ing Lord Street’s dis­tinc­tive look. Lib­eral Democrats and Con­ser­va­tives out-voted Labour coun­cil­lors.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate that coun­cil bud­gets are un­der pres­sure but this is a coun­cil that has just forked out £32m to buy the Boo­tle New Strand shop­ping cen­tre.

“Pay­ing a few bob more to keep Lord Street dis­tinc­tive is not an im­pos­si­ble task if there is will to do so.

“0ppo­si­tion coun­cil­lors should, and I be­lieve will, call this de­ci­sion in.

“Lord Street is vi­tal to the whole econ­omy.”

Dukes Ward in­de­pen­dent Con­ser­va­tive Cllr David Bar­ton is also urg­ing the coun­cil to re­con­sider.

He said: “I would strongly rec­om­mend the lo­cal author­ity lis­tens to the wider con­sen­sus here in South­port who have cat­e­gor­i­cally re­quested that the red tar­mac sur­face be re­tained here.

“Given this main road is a prized piece of South­port’s civic history and in­vestor ap­peal I would also urge Sefton Coun­cil’s Cab­i­net to utilise any spare re­serves to utilise the sig­na­ture red tar­mac given this work will be likely here for up to an­other two decades at least.”

Dukes Ward in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Tony Daw­son South­port said: “This Lord Street resur­fac­ing de­ci­sion sums up how Sefton Coun­cil ad­dresses South­port mat­ters.”

“Lord Street is a con­ser­va­tion area. A con­ser­va­tion area which has had a red tar­mac sur­face to its main high­way for as long as peo­ple can re­mem­ber. So what right has any­one to sud­denly say ‘paint it black’?

“If red tar­mac costs ex­tra, then lo­cal coun­cil­lors in South­port should have a say in what other spend­ing might be sac­ri­ficed to main­tain this her­itage. Have they asked the South­port Civic So­ci­ety or any­one else about this?”

Lord Street will be closed to all traf­fic for up to six weeks for resur­fac­ing from Mon­day, Septem­ber 18 – the day af­ter this year’s South­port Air Show ends – with a num­ber of clo­sures and diver­sions put in place.

Work will take place dur­ing the week with the route re­opened dur­ing week­ends and pedes­tri­ans will be given full ac­cess dur­ing the works.

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The fa­mous red tar­mac which dec­o­rates many ar­eas of cen­tral Lon­don will no longer be on Lord Street, de­spite protests by David Bar­ton, inset

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