New paving could be lethal

A £45,000 project to improve paving in Needham Market was today branded a "waste of money" and potentially "lethal".Work is currently under way to improve paving along High Street in the town, but it has caused upset among many residents and traders.

A £45,000 project to improve paving in Needham Market was today branded a "waste of money" and potentially "lethal".

Work is currently under way to improve paving along High Street in the town, but it has caused upset among many residents and traders.

Pat Bellay, chairman of the Luncheon Club, which represents the town's business community, believes the new granite kerb stones being laid are dangerous.

He said: "If you fall over or hit them with a car they could be lethal. It's a retrograde step as far as I'm concerned."

Paul Bland, who runs a photographic business in the High Street, added the work has hit his business.

He said: "My shop is barricaded at the moment and this will inevitably hit trade. I had four customers the other morning and it's not worth me being here for that much trade.

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"I don't see how it's going to help us in the long run."

The project, expected to last up to eight weeks, has benefited from government funding on offer to improve footpaths in main shopping streets. Mid Suffolk and Suffolk County councils have also backed it.

A county council spokesman said: "We're replacing old concrete paths with a better material which improves the surface and looks better. 

"We're trying to keep disruption to a minimum and we stayed clear of busier times such as Christmas before starting."

The work, between The Causeway and Bridge Street, aims to improve the general appearance of the street, in keeping with its history.

But Sheila Herring, treasurer of the Needham Market Society, said: "The roadworks are causing traffic chaos and it does appear to be a waste of money at the moment.

"I'm not sure it will be in keeping with the history of the High Street either."

n.What do you think of the new paving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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