Scunthorpe paving slabs scandal makes headlines

Scunthorpe paving slabs have been making headlines more often than you might expect recently - first there was the chance that the town might receive a commemorative Victoria Cross paving slab to honour John Cunningham, and now the news has been downright dominated by a row over the pavements in the town centre.

Parts of the town including a stretch of Mary Street have had their paving slabs lifted and replaced with what some critics say looks like an unfinished surface on which you'd expect new slabs to be laid.

It's all part of an ambitious long-term plan to 'improve' the 'street scene' of Scunthorpe, but opponents of the work have suggested that it's actually just the council trying to cut down on the risk of a compensation claim caused by an uneven pavement - and some have even suggested they may be selling the slabs on for a net profit.

The Work

Earlier in 2013, North Lincolnshire Council outlined a plan of work to be carried out on ten-foots around Scunthorpe town centre, and you can still see a PDF of the affected areas here.

At the time, back in June, cabinet member for Highways and Neighbourhoods Councillor Nigel Sherwood said: "It is one of a number of schemes we are delivering this year to improve the street scene aspect of Scunthorpe town centre.

"This work needs to be carried out to help keep North Lincolnshire's roads and footways safe for people to use."

But while the earlier work affected only ten-foots, the more recent work - estimated to have cost around £300,000 - has made headlines as it has seen roadside pavements previously consisting of individual paving slabs replaced with a tarmac surface dubbed 'cheap' by local residents.

The Look

The Google Maps StreetView image below was taken in October 2012 and shows the pavement alongside Frances Street as it was, with square concrete paving slabs in place.

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During the recent work, the slabs were replaced with a rolled tarmac surface visible in this Scunthorpe Telegraph report.

The Scunthorpe Telegraph article also demonstrates the level of resistance to the work among local residents - both in those quoted directly within the article, and the comments section that follows it.

What Next?

The council claim that the current economic conditions do not allow for a more expensive surface to be laid, but that the work is necessary as part of regular, ongoing safety and maintenance efforts.

Either way, the story highlights how Scunthorpe paving slabs mean much more to many residents than you might expect - and the heartfelt comments on this subject underline that fact.

We might not be able to do anything to change the council's mind in the public parts of Scunthorpe town centre, but we take a high level of pride in the paving slabs we supply to Scunthonians for use in private patios and garden landscaping.

Regardless of whether you have a large garden that lives up to Scunthorpe's nickname as the 'Industrial Garden Town', or a fairly compact back yard that you want to make look its best, we have a range of styles and colours that should suit your needs and your tastes, and give you a garden - or yard - to be proud of.