Is Street Print in Leighton Buzzard High Street a success?

A photo of the new Street Print taken by a reader.
A photo of the new Street Print taken by a reader.

Central Bedfordshire Council has heralded the success of its new High Street Print Scheme - but it appears that Leighton-Linslade residents aren’t so convinced.

The works were completed at the end of August, which saw footways and parking spaces dug up so a layer of black asphalt could be applied.

During the final stage of the Street Print process, print and colouring works were carried out to make the surface blend in with the rest of the high street, giving an “old-fashioned, cobbled” effect.

Councillor Nigel Young, executive member for Highways Delivery and Innovation at CBC, said: “Residents have been asking for the footways to be restored in the High Street for a while, but we haven’t been able to source the same cobbles; this is often the problem with traditional style paving, so we have been investigating alternative solutions.

“The material used will weather and age like a natural material so the newly painted colour will fade to match the surrounding environment.”

The council also noted that Street Print has a durable and safe surface, is cost effective to install, requires minimal maintenance and avoids trip hazards from uneven surfaces and weed growth.

However, residents were not convinced. One reader alleged: “They have taken away the disabled bays outside Boots by the look of it.

“I won’t be shopping in this town any more unless it’s something important. Well done, you have finally managed to destroy this town!”

Another claimed: “It doesn’t change the environmental impact. Asphalt doesn’t let water drain away, which causes flooding.”

Others told the LBO that it looked “awful” and “didn’t match the existing paving”.

A CBC spokeswoman, said: “The disabled parking bays continue to be provided in a very similar position.

“The lining to mark these bays has not yet been completed but the signage for them is in place, the lining should be completed this week.

“This underlying drainage system has not changed with the new surface. Excess surface water will drain towards the road and be taken away by the road side gullies.

“We could no longer get hold of the old paving to match the previous pavement. As expected the new surface will take some time to wear and weather to be a closer match.”