Quay Street works 'a dog's dinner' - expert
6:20am Wednesday 8th August 2012 in News
A MAN who was formerly one of Britain’s top civil engineers has questioned the need for Carmarthenshire county council’s £1m revamp of Ammanford’s Quay Street.
In a letter to the authority, Geoff Tremlett – who was responsible for the reconstruction of the famous Sloboda Bridge across the River Danube – queried the replacement of paving blocks with flagstones after 16 years.
“We design motorways to last for 40 years,” he said.
“Urban roads should surely last for 25.
“This project is either an unnecessary expense or is covering up the fact the original design was wrong in the first place.”
Mr Tremlett, 67, of Glyn Road, Lower Brynaman, ended his long career by taking charge of the rebuilding of Sloboda or Liberty Bridge – the largest bridge over the Danube – after it was destroyed by NATO missiles during the Kosovo conflict in 1999.
Formerly employed by Bedfordshire county council and Hambledon rural district council, he also assisted in the design of the M6 motorway and construction of the M11.
ButMrTremlett says his “blood was boiling” during a recent shopping trip to Ammanford when he witnessed the ongoing works and chatted withworkmen.
“I suspect the county council overlooked the fact a lot of utility companies can dig up the road any time they like – reinstatement of a trench is never easy,” he said.
“What you’re then left with is an uneven surface.
That could be the reason for these works – either that or the street wasn’t laid properly in the first place.
“The paving blocks look lovely, but they’re being reinstated with asphalt and it looks a dog’s dinner, although in fairness the guys told me it’s a temporary reinstatement prior to the whole area being paved over. But what was wrong with the paving blocks that were there before? This seems a completely unnecessary expense.
“If the council was hit with a string of claims from people who had fallen over then surely they should make that known so we’d be aware just why our money is being spent.”
WHAT THE COUNCIL SAYS...
A COUNTY council spokesman denied reports the Quay Street works are costing somewhere in the region of £2m and said the true cost was around £900,000.
“Priorities are focused upon creating a pleasant environment for Quay Street, creating a decluttered area with new street paving, seating, lighting columns and trees,” he added. “Two new CCTV cameras will also be installed.
“The currently uneven form of the street will be graded to create a much more even surface. All works are being undertaken in order to create a pleasant environment attracting people to shop and stay within the town.
“This project is part of the wider regeneration plan formed for Ammanford town centre. Previous works to Quay Street were undertaken prior to local government reorganisation in 1996 by Dinefwr borough council.
“Works are not costing somewhere in the region of £2m. There is a mix of flagstones/ paving stones within the proposals.”