FERRY councillor Laurie Bidwell believes that a rapid rethink is required over planned pavement upgrading in Broughty Ferry after he discovered that cheaper materials would be used which would not match the work carried out in 2005.
He told the Guide & Gazette: “When I read a traffic notice issued by Dundee City Council on Thursday morning proposing partially closing Gray Street in Broughty Ferry ‘for the purpose of facilitating kerbing and footway works’ I was both surprised and hopeful that there would be some repairs or improvement to the pavements.
“I have represented many constituents and traders who have complained about the unevenness of the pavements so it seemed good to know that work might begin in the early new year.
“However, my relief rapidly turned to disappointment when I was advised that the upgrading work was going to be a second rate job. It seems that instead of matching the materials used in 2005 to upgrade the pavements in Brook Street between Fort Street and Gray Street, cheaper materials would be used which wouldn’t match the texture or colour of the first phase of the upgrading work round the corner.”
He continued: “This all seems at odds with Gray Street being clearly designated in the new Draft Dundee Local Development Plan as a part of the District Shopping Centre with a policy commitment to ‘improve their (the District Shopping Areas) attractiveness for businesses and residents’.
“I notice in the city centre that improvements to pavements and street furniture have gradually spread to neighbouring streets. For example, Union Street has recently being brought up to the city centre standard. So in the Ferry we want a similar commitment not second rate and patchy pavements.
“I was surprised because I had not been properly briefed about this forthcoming work at a point when this was a proposal and disappointed to have been kept out of the loop. Why was this not brought up at the last meeting of the The Ferry Local Community Planning Partnership in November when all council services are represented round the table with all four Ferry councillors and members of the community council and other voluntary projects and groups?
“I wonder whether ‘they’ hoped that we wouldn’t notice by announcing this at a time many folk might be winding down for Christmas. Well if that was the tactic it hasn’t worked.”
He concluded: “I have written to my fellow Broughty Ferry councillor and leader of the council, Ken Guild, and the director of city development to ask that an immediate hold is put on this.
“I hope he will tell me that this all a bad dream and Jacob Marley has come to his senses and determines he won’t be cutting any more corners on our new pavements in Broughty Ferry. I have also sent in an objection to the traffic order in the hope that this will create more time for consultation and reconsideration.”
Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee responded: “The proposals to replace the current tarmac pavements in Gray Street, Broughty Ferry with pre-cast concrete slabs are at an early stage.
“A number of alternative materials are being considered and a decision will be made in the new year.”