Agreement paves the way for repairs to Leighton Buzzard’s ‘messy’ town centre footpaths

Photos of the pavement near Waitrose sent in by a reader
Photos of the pavement near Waitrose sent in by a reader

A petition has been handed over by the Leighton Buzzard Society to Central Beds Council calling for action over the state of the town centre footpaths.

The local authority said it will make pavement repairs in two areas of the town, but is now promising further improvements this Autumn.

The shabby state of the street scene was highlighted at a full council meeting last week during which the petition signed by local residents was presented.

The local authority’s highways department has been using cement and tarmac to replace bricks and concrete slabs, according to Maurice Crowe, who chairs the Leighton Buzzard Society.

“It’s rendered the pavements’ appearance as a mess,” he told the council.

“This damage has been around for at least ten years and the prospect of repairing it with materials to match seems remote.

“As the biggest town in the borough, paying a large percentage of council tax, we feel we should get some consideration from the council to update the High Street pavements and restore our pride to being a Georgian town.”

Mr Crowe said he was told by the council it was difficult to get bricks to match and lack of finance was also an issue.

But the town’s Waterborne Walk shopping centre has the same problem, and always seems to find red bricks to carry out repairs to a very high standard, he added.

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno thanked Mr Crowe for all the hard work he does for the society. “After a lot of lobbying from the local ward members, who’re extremely passionate about improving the street scene, a project is in place,” said councillor Dalgarno, who’s the executive member for community services.

“Further to the work improving the footpaths, we’ll make other improvements to the street scene, such as repairing broken railings and doing some of the paintwork.

“We will go a little further than you wanted as we want to ensure Leighton Buzzard is a nice place to live in and work.”

Conservative Linslade councillor Gordon Perham said: “I actually brought this up a few meetings ago, and had an answer from councillor Dalgarno that something was imminent, so we have been dealing with it.”

Conservative Leighton Buzzard South councillor David Bowater said: “We’ve done a lot of work in arranging for these works to be completed along with the appropriate officers.”