The Bucks Herald reports that frustration grows among Buckingham town councillors due to ongoing delays in addressing crucial street repairs, raising concerns about safety in the town centre.
Councillors have been approached repeatedly regarding the town’s infrastructure, including uneven surfaces and potential trip hazards that have been causing inconvenience to residents.
The issue of highway defects, such as loose cobblestones and lifted paving slabs, was first highlighted by the Town Centre and Events Committee back in 2022.
Residents have reported injuries resulting from trips and falls in the town centre, attributing them to broken and misaligned paving slabs, sunken temporary repairs, and loose cobbles.
The committee, responsible for overseeing various town centre events like BandJam Big Bash and the Christmas Lights Switch-on, grew concerned about the safety risk posed to both traders and customers.
Buckingham Town Council reached out to Bucks Council last year to inquire about repair plans and potential start dates for the works.
In April 2023, the town council received correspondence from Bucks Council’s Directorate for Communities, Highways & Technical Services. The letter stated that the footway on Market Hill was prioritized, specifically focusing on the replacement of slabs between the Old Gaol and the King’s Head. The letter also mentioned that works outside these areas were under consideration, but no definite start date could be provided now.
Cllr Robin Stuchbury said: “Members of the Buckingham town centre events committee have been concerned about these matters over a great period of time, as you can imagine.
“Many members of the committee are continuously approached about the fabric of the town, its uneven surfaces and trip hazards.
“After a period of correspondence, with no new definite programme of works published or agreed, we had a responsibility not to be silent about these concerns.
“Therefore, we are seeking dialogue on how and when the improvements to the town centre, so obviously needed, can be planned, organised and take place, allowing people to move around the town without fear, regardless of their age or condition, and go about their business with no worry or concerns about the condition of the footpaths and town centre, which presently, I feel, are in need of some TLC and planned investment, bringing the town back into better condition to enable the town to prosper and the community to thrive.”
Peter Martin, Bucks Council’s deputy cabinet member for transport, said: “Footway improvement works on Market Hill in Buckingham are in our annual programme for this financial year.
“Until the works take place, we will continue to inspect this area and any dangerous defects will be dealt with in accordance with our Highway Safety Inspection Policy.
“Any resident with a concern over a specific defect should report this to us via FixMyStreet.”