Road repairs spark debate

Road resurfacing in Alnwick town centre.
Road resurfacing in Alnwick town centre.

Suggestions that the roads in Alnwick town centre are being resurfaced due to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess’s daughter this summer have been branded ‘ridiculous’.

Work taking place this week to repair Bondgate Within has seen the town centre closed to traffic since Monday.

But online on social media sites such as Facebook, it has sparked discussion about whether Alnwick town centre really is a priority when so many other roads are in a dire condition.

And some have even linked the resurfacing to Lady Melissa’s wedding in June, something which Alnwick’s county councillor Gordon Castle has branded ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and ‘without any foundation whatsoever’.

“This was arranged at the back end of last summer, August I think, as a result of persuading the (highways) department to slip it into the budget,” he said.

“It had been promised to the town council. but hadn’t gone into the schedule.

“Urgent repairs can be done at short notice, but anything like this has to be planned in the schedule of works a year in advance.

“It was to be done in November, but the chamber of trade requested we defer it to the spring in order not to disrupt the run-up to Christmas, which I was happy with.”

However, Coun Castle does agree with residents who have vented frustration that other roads need urgent attention elsewhere in the town and the district.

“It (the work in Bondgate Within) brings into sharp focus the state of the roads elsewhere and there’s a long way to go,” he said.

“There’s money in the budget and I’m trying to get as much as possible spent locally.

“I fully intend that roads maintenance is a priority in the next council and also that we don’t neglect the pavements.”

He added that other roads in Alnwick had received or are in line for repairs.

Windsor Gardens, Green Batt, one or two estate roads and now the town centre have been resurfaced while Lagny Street and Lower Barresdale are on the list to get done later in the year.