Some see red over resurfacing
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