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Paving slabs removed by Cityfibre and replaced with tarmac

Reported via mobile in the Slabs - Uneven / Damaged / Cracked category anonymously at 17:48, Fri 12 November 2021

Sent to Northamptonshire Highways less than a minute later. ref: 3120653.

The paving slabs on Birchfield Road have been uplifted for fibre broadband to be installed but replaced with tarmac, which is unsatisfactory in appearance

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  • Thank you for reporting a fault. We will use the information you have provided to assess and prioritise this fault in accordance with our published response times for fault reports.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 17:48, Fri 12 November 2021

  • There is working currently taking place in Birchfield Road and surrounding areas which involves digging up the footpath. The existing slabs have been cut and replaced with tarmac. From an aesthetic perspective this is just NOT in keeping with the Victorian street and is detrimental to the architectural integrity of the street and the whole area. The maintenance of the footpaths has been poor, but we should protect the integrity of our neighbourhoods, we all choose to live in Victorian terrace house and not modern housing estates, one appeal being the kerb appeal of these properties which this tarmac quite frankly is abhorrent and an eye sore!!

    Posted anonymously at 12:01, Sat 13 November 2021

  • The street hasn't been repaired with a like for like replacement, instead, they have put down tarmac which is not in keeping with the rest of the pavement. It shows a lack of care about maintaining the standard of the street.

    Posted anonymously at 13:36, Sat 13 November 2021

  • Thanks for your enquiry this has been passed to City Fibre Supervisor to visit the site and check the work done

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 22:27, Sat 13 November 2021

  • Further to the above complaint regarding the unslightly installation of fibre broadband, no information was provided to residents ahead of work commencing. We are aware that this is a joint scheme being delivered in partnership with the Council and therefore residents should expect similar considerations to the Planning process to ensure footpaths maintain a look inkeeping with the Victorian Terrace aesthetic.

    Additionally, there appears to be little consideration for the drainage arrangements across the footpaths from some properties. Tarmac and other construction materials are now blocking the channel drains, which will result in flooded footpaths and potentially slip hazards when any standing water freezes. Walking along the path last night, the footpath now appears a third narrower due to the significant contrast in colour and limited street lighting, which is a futher concern for pedestrian safety.

    Residents want to see paving slabs reintroduced inkeeping with the environment, which many longstanding residents on Birchfield Road have looked after with care for many years.

    Posted anonymously at 14:29, Sun 14 November 2021

  • What have they done to our street?? The council need to put our slabs back and restore the path to how it was for over 100 years, the question is why was the slabs lifed and replace them back once the job was completed!!! But no! They have binned them!!!

    Posted anonymously at 15:27, Sun 14 November 2021

  • Further to the dis- satisfaction already shared about the footpath being replaced partially with tarmac which is NOT in keeping with the lovely Victorian street, to add insult to injury they have been replacing slabs on the junction between Ashburnham Road and Birchfield - so why could this not happen along where the footpath has been dug up on Birchfield Road?!?

    This shows it isn’t a lack of availability skilled workforce but a blatant dis regard for maintaining the look of the area. This is a sought after street in which to live and it is incredibly upsetting that the residents were not consulted.

    Posted anonymously at 07:56, Mon 15 November 2021

  • No notice of the work

    My husband left the house and when he returned he had to flag a worker down to get into the house.

    Again, no notice given about the work to residents, its not acceptable

    Posted anonymously at 10:51, Mon 15 November 2021

  • We have just moved to this street and cannot believe the lack of care taken by the council to inform residence of this type of invasive work being carried out. We are very lucky we were not mid-move as we were 2 weeks ago. The work started at 8am Saturday morning but 9.30am on Monday. It’s a shame we had no notice. We have young children and no clear way of directing them how to get to a safe route to the road!

    We are also very sad to see ugly tarmac replace perfectly good Victorian tiles. It spoils the overall aesthetic of the street.

    Can these tiles be replaced back to their original standard to bring the street back to its former glory?! We hope so!!!

    Posted anonymously at 13:06, Mon 15 November 2021

  • Continual work outside our garage and adjacent to our car with no notice. Complained to City Fibre and John Henry. Work was undertaken and we were finally notified. Car has been covered in dust and access to our garage continually blocked for the last three weeks until today because I have complained. Not acceptable and replacement tarmac is not good enough.

    Posted anonymously at 13:10, Mon 15 November 2021

  • Further to complaints/concerns raised re work taking place on Birchfield Rd. The state of the tarmac on paved footpaths is beyond a joke! Is the tarmac being replaced by the old paving slabs? In addition to this there has been zero communication to us as residents on Birchfield Rd! Could the council go into private housing estates and begin disruptive work without informing residents of planned work? Many of us are working from home and the noise from the work has been very disruptive! If we had been advised of these plans perhaps we could have prepared our work spaces better! Please can we be given information about how the paving slabs are being replaced and when? Many thanks

    Posted anonymously at 13:16, Mon 15 November 2021

  • I agree with the earlier posts. The replacement of paving slabs with tarmac is unsightly and out of keeping with the area. No one was consulted and we had no prior warning. Please apologise for your unacceptable conduct and replace the tarmac with paving slabs.

    Posted anonymously at 16:02, Mon 15 November 2021

  • I am disgusted that after all the complaints. You are still continuing to dig up perfectly good slabs now on Collingwood road. A highways officer from west northants attended today and confirmed that this was against agreements. What will be done I am disgusted.

    Posted anonymously at 16:03, Mon 15 November 2021

  • How is this allowed! It looks appalling!

    Why are you not re-using or repurposing, please answer this question !

    I hope this does not happen on my street and I feel very sorry for the people that live on the affected streets. All the money that the company will be making from this and they just fill in with cheap tarmac !!!!

    Posted anonymously at 17:07, Mon 15 November 2021

  • The tarmac is unsightly, won't weather well, and is not in keeping with the heritage of the street. The removal of hard-wearing slabs to replace with cheap, quick fix material is very poor and should not be allowed.

    Posted anonymously at 17:15, Mon 15 November 2021

  • The replacement of the slabs on Brirchfield Road by a cheap tarmac is an absolute shambles. The paths need to be put back as they were.

    Posted anonymously at 18:44, Mon 15 November 2021

  • I sincerely hope the tarmac is a temporary fix and the traditional style paving slabs will be replaced ASAP. This has completely changed the aesthetic of Birchfield Road and upset many of the residents….what an eyesore

    Posted anonymously at 19:20, Mon 15 November 2021

  • Even after all the complaints. The old paving slaps are still being destroyed and the channels that are dug and being filled in with horrible looking Tarmac. Obviously this is a money saving exercise without and concern for the aesthetics or keeping the quality of a street or neighbourhood. As residents we try to maintain the quality of our homes and neighbourhoods but the council and contractors don't seem to care because it's not in their neighbourhood. This is a lesson on how to make the town look even more rundown and un-cared for !!

    Posted anonymously at 19:23, Mon 15 November 2021

  • Not acceptable behaviour by City Fibre. paving slabs need to be replaced by paving slabs, not tarmac. very unsightly and not in keeping.

    Posted anonymously at 20:14, Mon 15 November 2021

  • This is an absolute disgrace; please remove the revolting tarmac slapped on our Victorian street pavements in Birchfield Road and surrounding streets and reinstate the original, or like for like contemporary slabs as soon as possible. No notice was received of the work which was noisy & disruptive, and the end result is revolting and completely out of keeping with the aesthetic of the area. I cannot believe that the Council thinks this is ok! Let’s not even go into the question of sustainability ie re-use/re-cycle/re-instate the original slabs. What an absolute shambles from start to finish. Please put it right as soon as possible!

    Posted anonymously at 22:04, Mon 15 November 2021

  • I can not believe someone has passed this work. I have never seen anything like it in my life . The workmanship is so poor . How you can replace perfectly good slabs with tarmac on a traditional Victorian street is disgusting , change it back immediately !

    Posted anonymously at 22:13, Mon 15 November 2021

  • This is a disgrace, there is no reason that the original paving stones cannot be relaid, even Virgin did that when their original fibre was laid 20 years ago!

    Posted by Kev Crocombe at 09:16, Tue 16 November 2021

  • I live on Birchfield Road, shocking what is being allowed to go on and cannot believe WNC have allowed this contractor to leave this beautiful, traditional Victorian road in this state. My front door, slate tiles, railings, belfast bricks are all splattered with cement and debris, needs to be rectified immediately!

    Posted anonymously at 09:24, Tue 16 November 2021

  • I would like to echo all the other comments made about the disgusting way the paving stones have been ripped up and replaced with ugly tarmac in Birchfield Road. This is totally unacceptable and I have already made a formal complaint to the council, and I hope as many others will do the same. This situation has got to be rectified and I hope it can be resolved amicably and without the need of legal assistance.

    Posted anonymously at 09:39, Tue 16 November 2021

  • I would like to echo all the other comments made about the disgusting way the paving stones have been ripped up and replaced with ugly tarmac in Birchfield Road. This is totally unacceptable and I have already made a formal complaint to the council, and I hope as many others will do the same. This situation has got to be rectified and I hope it can be resolved amicably and without the need of legal assistance.

    Posted anonymously at 09:40, Tue 16 November 2021

  • Works today (16/11) looks to finally being more carefully dealt with, but it's really too little too late.

    It also just sums things up when on one side of the road, City Fibre are carefully removing and replacing individual blocks in the service access behind Birchfield Road/Ashburnham Road, but directly opposite, their van is parked over the kerb! Unbelievable.

    Posted anonymously at 11:28, Tue 16 November 2021

  • If this miserable council pull this stunt in my street near Abington Park I will be withholding my Council Tax until such times the path is restored to the original slabs and encouraging others to do the same. I suggest that a resident in each affected street gets up a petition with haste to help this Council to understand that it is simply not acceptable. Goff Smith Sandringham Road.

    Posted by Goff Smith at 14:32, Tue 16 November 2021

  • Still even today more areas filled with tarmac at a huge environmental and cultural cost, no more digging because of the meeting between James Cushing from City Fibre and west Northants council highways. I am being told this meeting was to discuss city fibre not destroying our pavements and returning like for like Paving slabs but please don’t hold your breath, please please keep complaint and pushing west Northants to put this right it is WNC who have allowed this.

    Posted anonymously at 18:03, Tue 16 November 2021

  • We now have Northampton Chronicle and echo covering this story is the lead reporter please please do contact him to push your complaint, I am pressing one of my own colleges Chas Watkins editor of BBC Radio 4 You and yours to feature this Environmental disaster and cultural destruction.

    Posted anonymously at 18:07, Tue 16 November 2021

  • I live I Ashburnham Rd and couldn't believe what has happened in Birchfield Rd ,looks dreadful and not in keeping with the area. I'm sure I will arrive home one evening to find this has happened in our road.

    Posted anonymously at 19:10, Tue 16 November 2021

  • Cowboys!

    I now regret giving their horses some hay to feed on!

    Posted anonymously at 20:45, Wed 17 November 2021

  • If you employ cheap labour and give them a price to do the job this shoddy work is expected. I had a look myself wait a couple of months the tarmac will sink and you will have a trip hazard then sue the council.

    Posted anonymously at 11:30, Thu 18 November 2021

  • Happening right now on Collingwood road more slabs going up and tarmac going down !!!

    Posted anonymously at 13:30, Fri 19 November 2021

  • Just to update after speaking to West Northants engineer. New Underground work happen today 19-11-2021 on the Pavement at the corner of Collingwood Road and The Crescent. A patch of grey Concrete was dug up to Cap off the work that was undertaken before work was Stopped. This patch of Tarmac now has the Yellow sprayed word “TEMP” on it. I have been assured that this area will eventually be returned to Like for Like Grey Concrete. Will should all stay alert to make sure the “Like for Like” garuntees we are getting do happen.

    Posted anonymously at 14:58, Fri 19 November 2021

  • I couldn’t agree more. Not only does the tarmac look appalling but existing slabs have been cracked and no long lay flat. There is movement under foot. The whole path now needs relaying due to the amount of damage caused.

    Posted anonymously at 12:47, Sun 21 November 2021

  • I am so pleased this has been raised. What a terrible piece of work with no regard to the local area. My wife also witnessed the workers chain a vehicle to theirs and drag it up the road they could continue. The council will waster £1,000's making this good but in my eyes the damage is done. They will only be able to replace with new slabs and thats not good enough.

    Posted anonymously at 16:27, Tue 23 November 2021

  • A friend of a friend who also lives locally and dined at the Toby Carvery at the weekend was fortunate to be close enough (assurances given that this was within socially distanced tolerances) to privy to an ongoing private conversation that took place in and around the gravy station, they are almost sure that they heard, verbatim:

    “City Fibre have no intention of reinstating slabs on Birchfield Road”

    Unfortunately, the noise levels were affected by the energetic change in atmosphere from amiable to boisterous as the chef had presented a new gammon roast only seconds earlier, so the sentence could also easily have been:

    "Uber drivers apprehension relating to jabs need to be disposed"

    Irrespective of the phraseology, I appreciate that the footpath is an emotive subject, but I think we should all remain vigilant and maintain pressure on the council until such time that we, as taxpayers, are provided with:

    - specification of paving stones proposed (should be of a like for like quality and not cheaper alternative) - an approved method of works - definitive timeline for reinstating and all snags from original works itemised and signed off

    It may also be a useful exercise and gesture of goodwill on behalf of the council if they could provide us with the additional cost & carbon calculations to 1) excavate & dispose of original paving, 2) replace with tarmac, 3) excavate newly laid tarmac and finally 4) replace with new paving and how they plan to recoup and offset any deficits incurred.

    Posted anonymously at 22:00, Wed 24 November 2021

  • It’s gone very quiet. Any update on whether this will happen?

    Posted anonymously at 20:24, Tue 1 February 2022

  • I made a complaint to the council and have basically been told nothing is going to be done about it. I replied saying that it was not accepted and asked how I could escalate my complaint, but have been ignored.

    Posted anonymously at 06:33, Wed 2 February 2022

  • Going forward City Fibre and Granmore (work contractor) are now carefully lifting the existing slabs and either placing existing slabs back down or replacing them with new ones when they break. It is not a perfect job (I don’t believe they are using A Wacker plate on the newly created ground to make sure it is compresssed properly and I believe this has lead to at least one new slab breaking) but to reinstate the horrific tarmac that has already been laid. We will need some form of mass insurrection to get this done, it will not happen otherwise. A mass non payment of council Tax, legal action involving freedom of information for the minutes of council meetings, council enviromental calculations, agreements with City fibre. Also in a bizarre regression our New City fibre Optic cable will now arrive from the wooden telegraph poles hanging in The air Over our heads. Completely bizarre if you ask me.

    Posted anonymously at 07:32, Wed 2 February 2022

  • Can anybody validate or confirm that the cables will now be serviced by existing telegraph poles making the footpath excavation works redundant or is this just a rumour started to cause discontentment to the local residents?

    I’m going to go with rumour until proven otherwise as I can’t envisage any local authority, no matter how inept, wilfully displaying systemic incompetence on a such a grand scale.

    Posted anonymously at 11:41, Wed 2 February 2022

  • Just to confirm the Fibre Optic Cables in Abington and Phippsville. Will be connected to homes via the Telegraph poles, with cables going over head. city fibre have in fact put in at least 2 brand new telegraph poles one on Collingwood Road and one on the Corner of Broadway and the vale. But the Ground works were to put in new Purple service pipes that will carry the new fibre cables from the Hubs to the poles. Existing underground service routes were not correct for this, apparently. I just wish that the council had not used this process to force their agenda of replacing paving slabs with Tarmac, it was the council I firmly believe that were behind the Tarmac being laid as it is their agenda.

    Posted anonymously at 12:16, Wed 2 February 2022

  • I wonder if we should just go straight to our local councillors with the complaint. If we all email them they will have to take it up with the council. Perhaps it would put some pressure on.

    Posted anonymously at 14:49, Wed 2 February 2022

  • I think there should be a residents association formed with a planned strategy to request an FOI which will then be the basis to engage with our local councillors/MP backed up with a proactive media/social media campaign.

    Anyone have a YouTube channel?

    Posted anonymously at 18:27, Wed 2 February 2022

  • Following a review this issue is not a Council responsibility.

    State changed to: not the council's responsibility

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 10:44, Mon 30 May 2022

  • Surely it is the council’s responsibility to insist City Fibre put it right, or to set a higher standard expected by companies digging up their streets. It is also untrue that previous paving was broken by people parking in the pavements, no one does this on Birchfield Road. The road is wide enough for people to park both sides without needing to go onto the pavement. The pavement was in a reasonable condition for a 120 year old street before. City Fibre ruined 30% of it.

    Posted anonymously at 13:39, Mon 30 May 2022

  • This report is under further investigation.

    State changed to: Under further investigation

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 13:40, Mon 30 May 2022

  • West Northants council, you really are a disgrace… I just wish I had more time to pursue this, to come back on here and say, we have investigated and it is not our responsibility is a joke. When I have stood in a trench talking to the council representative for Highways, who took responsibility for these actions and with the help of Bob Purser we forced West Northants council to renegotiate their contract and agreements with city fibre who In turn renegotiated their contract with Granmore the ground works company. It was West Northants idea to put down the Tarmac flexisurface as they saw this as a opportunity to remove broken slabs to replace with this environmentally disaster ours surface…. My silver haired Grandmother used to have a phrase “Hanging’s to good for them”. P.S I have just watched my new £200 a month Direct debit come out for council Tax, this for every house n Abington.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Paul Smith at 15:19, Mon 30 May 2022

  • I cannot believe the ending statement is 'this is not a council responsibility'. Who's is it then? Who do we pay our council tax too? Maybe we should stop paying if we don't have a council that has any responsibility. What a terrible response and sounds like a severe case of passing the buck. Council: step up and sport this out. The situation is not acceptable.

    Posted anonymously at 18:14, Mon 30 May 2022

  • For the council to just wash their hands of this issue is an absolute disgrace! Perhaps the original paving slabs might have had a few cracks in them but they looked 1000% better than the mess that has been left. What little faith I did have in the council has now been totally lost. I’m just astonished that they’ve got away with it. Disgusting!

    Posted anonymously at 20:13, Mon 30 May 2022

  • Thanks for your enquiry passed to Senior management

    State changed to: not the council's responsibility

    Posted by Northamptonshire Highways at 20:29, Mon 30 May 2022

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