Talks over improving cobbles on shopping street

Amble paddlers play area
Amble paddlers play area

A major overhaul of cobbles on a town-centre shopping street is to be requested to improve pedestrian safety.

The stones on Queen Street were the focus of discussion at September’s Amble Town Council meeting.

It follows reports of people tripping over the uneven cobbles, which were branded a nightmare by Coun Robert Arckless.

Coun Katherine Bennett told members that she felt it was time for a change while town-council clerk, Elaine Brown, said the issue of loose cobbles was an ongoing problem .

Coun Arckless said that the cobbles were installed nearly 20 years ago, but the material wasn’t what people expected it to be.

He said: “It is easy to be wise after the event, but it was a mistake in terms of the materials that were used.

“My priorities would be something which requires minimum maintenance and is safe for pedestrians.

“It would be a big task to change the whole thing, but maybe it is time to rethink it.

“I would much rather something that was more robust and less maintenance and it might be worth asking for it to be considered, as it has been a nightmare for a long time.

“The wear and tear is really starting to show.”

The town council is to ask whether a phased programme of works can be done to replace the surface with a better material.

Amble mayor Craig Weir said: “We will write a letter to the county council to see if there is any way of phasing the works; a phased invest to save.”

The request will be copied in to Amble Development Trust and the business club.

The clerk said that she had already sent a picture of some of the cobbles to the county council after a woman had fallen over. She said that the authority had vowed to do it within two weeks, but it appeared that nothing had yet been done.

Helping to solve footpath issues

Clerk Elaine Brown said that a wheelchair user had raised concerns about a footpath which runs from the junction of the A1068 at Hauxley along to the south roundabout.

He had said that the grass had overgrown and was actually covering most of the footpath, making it difficult to travel along it.

The county council has carried some cutting work along the stretch to improve the situation. Part of the issue has been passed onto another department, which is being restructured, and is set to be carried out at a later date.

Discussions ongoing over Paddlers plans

Moves to transform the much-criticised Paddlers area may have received a boost after the leader of Northumberland County Council said he would like to help.

Coun Arckless told members that Coun Grant Davey was supportive of the plans to revamp the facility.

Meanwhile, meetings between the county council and town council have taken place to try to move the project forward.

The town council has said it would be happy to take the lead on the scheme, subject to having grant funding and county-council officer help.

It has been agreed that a site visit would be beneficial, involving members of the town and county council, plus representatives from the new Amble Community Team.

Meanwhile, during the upcoming Local Democracy Week, the town council is going to ask Amble school pupils to come up with one-off cost ideas (up to £500) to help improve Amble Welfare, with a view to transforming some into reality.