Concern over ‘black top’ repair to cobblestones in Lewes

Catlin, cobbles
Catlin, cobbles

A Lewes Town Councillor has complained about temporary repairs to the road surface in a prominent part of the county town.

Last year, Cllr Stephen Catlin spent a morning with an East Sussex County Council official inspecting roads and pavements.

One of the areas found defective was the granite sett cobbles at the junction of Rotten Row and the High Street.

Last week a repair was effected – but Cllr Catlin said this only made the situation worse because unsightly black asphalt had been poured over the cobbles.

He said it did not help the appearance of the Conservation Area and asked the county council why it had been done. He was told that this was a temporary repair, and that now an order would be issued to have the cobbles re-set.

“It was reported a year ago,” he said, “so I am at a loss to understand why one order was not issued to deal with the granite setts straightaway. Two jobs instead of one. I’m pleased to note the granite will be re-instated, but surely it could all have been done as one job.”

Further down the High Street in Castle Gate, York Stone slabs have also been marked for repair and Cllr Catlin said he was pleased to have an assurance that York Stone will be used straightaway in this case.

The news is not so good in Friars Walk, he said, where ‘black top’ – the regular term for asphalt – is still in place when a date earlier in the year had been given for the re-instatement of cobbles.

“This is a particularly worrying site,” said Cllr Catlin, “and the splash back from the defective road surface has caused damage to a resident’s garden door. I’m still awaiting a new date for this work to be completed.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We were made aware of some deterioration to the cobbles at the junction of High Street and Rotten Row, and due to safety concerns we attended to put down asphalt as a temporary solution to make the area safe.

“The cobbles at this location, and those in Friar’s Walk, will be fully repaired but as both locations lie on very busy roads and the repairs will require part of the road to be closed, the repairs will be carried out in due course when a suitable time slot is available that will enable us to minimise disruption to motorists and pedestrians.”