Cobbles condition a concern, but cost is stumbling block

'Patching' on the Cobbles in Alnwick.
'Patching' on the Cobbles in Alnwick.

The state of the Cobbles in Alnwick has come under fire again, but a solution will not be easy to find.

At the town council’s meeting last Thursday, Coun Geoff Watson raised the issue, saying: “The Cobbles are in a dangerous condition and have been for years.

“Even the designated walking areas are in awful condition.

“Where we have had patching, there’s been no attempt to match what’s there between the stones.”

A number of members pointed out that it would be an extremely costly scheme to sort out the Cobbles and the county council does not have that sort of money, given current funding constraints.

The town council has unsuccessfully included it in its priorities for Local Transport Plan funding for the past few years.

It was also pointed out that the likes of Heritage Lottery Funding could not be applied for as the area, while historic, is used as a car park.

But Coun Martin Harrington said: “It doesn’t need to be a major scheme, it’s just about maintenance.”

Coun Peter Edge agreed, saying: “Some areas of the Cobbles are so bad. Surely there has to be money if repairs need to be made to certain bits?”

However, Coun Gordon Castle said that the county council would repair small sections when required, but it would simply be done cheaply with concrete, which would lead to patches all over the Cobbles.