Cumbria County Council will move to the next stage of improvement works on Alston’s Front Street from Monday 5 October, for five days.
The works will involve the removal of a section of unstable cobbles and blacktop reinstatements, from the Co-op to the Top Café. This section will then be temporarily resurfaced to make the road safe until future works to reinstate the cobbles have been developed and funding confirmed.
The first two days will include digging out the damaged cobbles and old blacktop reinstatements, changing iron work; the remaining three days will focus on resurfacing and re-lining, finishing on Friday 9 October, weather dependent.
All of the removed cobbles will be stored so that they can be re-used in the redevelopment of Front Street for off-road projects in and the around town centre.
The signed diversion route is the same as the previous one during the earlier phase of the works. The road closure of Front Street will extend from the junction with Church Road to the junction with the B6277 road.
Cllr Claire Driver, Cumbria County Councillor for Alston and East Fellside, said: “I am pleased to see this project progressing well as we head towards the winter months, and although it will cause some disruption, the improvements will undoubtedly be appreciated in the long run. It’s important these works are completed ahead of the colder weather, which will be arriving soon!
“I’d like to stress that this is only a temporary solution whilst the county council continues to source funding for a second phase of reinstating the cobbles.
“By working together with the local community, we will ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and that businesses in Alston are actively promoted as remaining open to visitors.”
Dave Liquorice, Save Alston Front Street, said: “The laying of temporary blacktop from the Co-op to the Top Cafe has, unfortunately, to be done. It will make some improvement to the look of the town by removing the ugly mess of poor condition cobbles and rough blacktop patching but it does not return the historic and picturesque charm of Alston. We will continue to apply pressure on Cumbria County Council to locate and secure funding for the complete reinstatement of cobbles right through the town.”
Ian Grey, Chair of Alston Moor Business Association, said: “We’re delighted that Cumbria County Council have an ambition to fully reinstate the cobbles from the bottom to the top of Front Street. In the short-term we accept that the temporary blacktop will be a safety and visual improvement for our local businesses, community and visitors while funding is sought to restore the cobbles, which are a key part of our heritage that help to make Alston a unique place to live in and to visit. We will work alongside the Council to ensure that while Front Street is closed for this work, visitors are still encouraged to come to Alston, aided by clear signage and other communications.”