Fears broken and loose bricks in St Stephen’s Church Lane, Ipswich could cause serious accident

PUBLISHED: 11:57 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:57 25 June 2015

St Stephen's Lane with cracked paving - and a heavy delivery lorry servicing the Sainsbury's store.

St Stephen's Lane with cracked paving - and a heavy delivery lorry servicing the Sainsbury's store.


Broken and loose paving bricks on one of the busiest streets in Ipswich are “an accident waiting to happen”, according to senior councillor Nadia Cenci.

Paul Geater lifts a broken paving brick in St Stephen's Lane.Paul Geater lifts a broken paving brick in St Stephen's Lane.

Mrs Cenci is leader of the opposition Conservative group at the borough, and was speaking after we looked at the state of the paving along St Stephen’s Church Lane – the main route to the town centre for people using the Old Cattle Market bus station.

The paving was completed in the early 1990s when the Buttermarket Centre was first opened, but today many of the bricks are broken or have become loose. Others have been replaced by patches of asphalt, which look untidy.

A walk along the street – which is used by many older shoppers and people who have difficulty in walking – shows that many paving bricks are wobbly. In one section of 15 bricks we found 10 broken or loose – or in many cases both.

Improving the paving in the lane – which is closed to most traffic, but is used by lorries servicing Wilkinson’s and Sainsbury’s, has been adopted as a priority by Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich Christopher Hudson.

Broken and loose paving bricks in St Stephen's LaneBroken and loose paving bricks in St Stephen's Lane

However, responsibility for the paving is split between the county and the borough councils – with a small section being owned by the Buttermarket centre.

Mrs Cenci said: “There are several areas in the town that need attention, but that is certainly one of the worse. With that many loose and broken bricks it really is an accident waiting to happen.”

She was also concerned that anyone injured could lodge a claim for negligence – as the problem was known.

A senior Suffolk County Council highways engineer is due to look at the paving today to see how serious the problem is and to work out what can be done to improve its safety.

However, the county pointed out that much of the area that was in the worst condition was the responsibility of the borough council or Buttermarket centre – but pledged to look for a solution to the problem.

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