Appaling pavement repair leads to anger in Lewes

Stephen Catlin and Peter Richards in Western Road, Lewes, bad pavement repair. SUS-141203-143039001
Stephen Catlin and Peter Richards in Western Road, Lewes, bad pavement repair. SUS-141203-143039001

Residents and traders in Western Road, Lewes, have united in condemnation of “appalling” pavement repair work.

It has been carried out by electricity company UK Power Networks in front of numbers 10-20 and was completed a week ahead of schedule on Friday (March 7).

But in the view of Lewes Town Councillor Stephen Catlin “it looks as though it was carried out with undue haste”.

He said the black-top work was uneven and out of keeping with the area.

In addition, he said, much-needed trade in the Western Road parade of shops has been affected by the continuing suspension of parking outside the premises although the work has finished.

Local butcher Peter Richards added to the voices of dissatisfaction this week when he pointed out the undulating nature of the pavement’s surface.

Cllr Catlin said he had been told by East Sussex County Council’s Highways Liaison Team that the repair “had been agreed as a permanent finish” and was “deemed in keeping with the surrounding area” – statements which he said he found “risible”.

Respected local historian Colin Brent has identified numbers 14-20 on a map dated 1843 and suspects those houses actually date back to the 1830s, with others probably dating back to the 1860s.

Cllr Catlin added: “The fact remains that this is very much in the Lewes Conservation Area and as such deserves far better treatment than has been meted out to it with these appalling repairs.

“I promise to continue fighting on this sort of thing. It just is not good enough for the historic and ancient county town of Lewes.”

A spokesman said: “UK Power Networks is concerned to hear that some customers are unhappy with the pavement repair work we have carried out in recent weeks in Western Road, Lewes.

“This followed an underground cable improvement project on the electricity distribution network, which was completed on Friday (March 7), a week earlier than scheduled.

“While the Highways Authority, who we work with closely, is content with the pavement surface, we will visit the site again and inspect the pavement with the authority to see if any improvements can be made.”