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Gloucestershire Business News

Cambray Place new surface welcomed

The Cheltenham Civic Society (CCS) has welcomed the resurfacing of Cambray Place in Cheltenham town centre after years of campaigning.

But worries have been voiced over how long the space will stay unblemished.

Many people have already expressed concerns about when the first 'tarmac cowpat' patch will blemish its new surface. One such tarmac patch has already appeared on the recently resurfaced footpaths in the Minster's churchyard.

According to the Civic Society, the 'tarmac cowpat' problem in Cambray Place has evolved over many years and reached an intolerable state. The group is campaigning for the paving to be resurfaced.

Andrew Booton, CCS chair, said: "While we are pleased that Gloucestershire County Council has finally paid for the resurfacing, the problem was entirely of its own making.

"For over a decade, GCC has failed to enforce the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 - which requires utility companies and other contractors to reinstate road and paving surfaces to the correct standard and as soon as possible.

"This failure not only made an eyesore out of Cambray Place but has also allowed street contractors to get away with this horrible habit elsewhere. As a result, tarmac patches have spread like measles and are already beginning to blight our prestigious Promenade."

Last year, the Civic Society made the repair of Cambray Place one of the ten points of its 'Town Centre Manifesto'. The Society's continuous campaigning has seen some progress on more than half of the ten points, but Cambray Place is the only one that has been completed.

Mr Booton added: "We will continue to campaign to return the town centre to a standard where Cheltonians can be proud. Neither GCC nor Cheltenham Borough Council should be patting themselves on the back for anything yet. They both still have a very long way to go to raise the quality of our town centre to the standard of comparable places such as Oxford and Bath, and even Cirencester."

A Cheltenham Borough Council spokesperson said: "We all want our town centre to thrive and to be a pleasant environment for all. We welcome improvements to the high street."

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