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Brent Council accused of ‘asphalt or nothing’ as communities demand paving stones on their pavements

PUBLISHED: 10:41 24 February 2020

Neighbours on Chambers Lane say no to asphalt pavements. Picture: Katherine Fried

Neighbours on Chambers Lane say no to asphalt pavements. Picture: Katherine Fried

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A petition has been launched calling on the council to stop asphalting pavements saying its “cheap, nasty and not good for the environment”.

Chambers Lane being asphalted despite huge opposition by locals. Picture: Sonia LockeChambers Lane being asphalted despite huge opposition by locals. Picture: Sonia Locke

Residents in Willesden Green and Mapesbury are among those campaigning for paving stones which they say are more durable and have a lower carbon footprint asphalt.

The petition has attracted more than 300 signatures since its launch last week. It states that tarmac is being used but council officers say they are using a mixture of asphalt and concrete blocks - which they say are recyclable.

Katherine Fried, who lives in Chambers Lane, said pavements were torn up in front of her home on February 19 and asphalt was poured in.

She said asphalt is more slippery than paving stones and that it "cracks, buckles and blisters and it pits and gathers moisture and moss and is dangerous".

Neighbours on Chambers Lane say no to asphalt pavements. Picture: Katherine FriedNeighbours on Chambers Lane say no to asphalt pavements. Picture: Katherine Fried

"Environmentally it chokes life beneath it as no water gets through," she said. "We will not get replacements for the new trees if they fail to thrive. It is a cheap and nasty solution which is changing the character of our street for the worse."

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Maggie Chambers said streets in Mapesbury, including Dartmouth, Teignmour and St Gabriels roads have "had a reprieve" and will not be asphalted following a campaign by residents.

She said the council will do "reactive work" on faulty pavements in the area, and that a well-paved slab will "last for decades", unlike asphalt.

An asphalted street in Mapesbury. Picture: Maggie ChambersAn asphalted street in Mapesbury. Picture: Maggie Chambers

"The scandal is that all over the country, councils are committed to asphalting contracts which don't even allow for paving slabs to be relaid instead of asphalt. It's asphalt or nothing," she said.

"In these days of alarm at our pollution of the world and efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, it is unbelievable - scandalous - that the council are committed to asphalt."

Environment lead Cllr Krupa Sheth said: "We're sorry that a small number of residents are unhappy about the footway upgrades that are underway on Chambers Lane. Especially as residents on roads where the works have already been finished have told us how pleased they are with the look and quality of the new pavements."

She added: "We use asphalt because it is more durable to the type of wear and tear we see the most in Brent. This means it needs replacing less often, providing better value for money and saving the carbon that would be used in creating new materials."

To sign the petition click here

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