Spot the difference! Fury after only one half of Sheffield pavement is resurfaced

Builders are often accused of leaving the job half done, but that is literally the case with this pavement in Sheffield - and traders are spitting feathers.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 12:27 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:54 am
Traders and councillors in Bellhouse Road, Firth Park (Chris Etchells)

While the side nearest the road has been relaid with a pristine new surface, the patched-up section closest to shops along Bellhouse Road, in Firth Park, is looking a little unloved in comparison.

Sheffield Council says that portion belongs to shopkeepers and is their responsibility to maintain - not that of the council or contractor Amey, which is upgrading roads and paths across the city as part of the £2 billion Streets Ahead contract.

Bellhouse Road, in Firth Park, where only one side of the pavement has been resurfaced (Chris Etchells)

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But shopkeepers say the walkway looks worse than it did before and claim they were never consulted about whether they wished to contribute to the cost so the whole pavement could be resurfaced at once.

Gena Kerr, who owns the fishmonger's Veegees, said: "It looks really disgusting. It's worse than before. Why would they just do half of the pavement?

"The council says we're responsible for the other half but what do we pay business rates for?

"It could at least have given us the option of paying for the work to be done, but none of the traders were consulted."

Bellhouse Road, in Firth Park, where only one side of the pavement has been resurfaced (Chris Etchells)

Another shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said: "I feel Firth Park is treated as a second-rate area. None of the other shopping centres, such as those in Hillsborough, Crookes or Walkley, have been left looking like this. It's an absolute disgrace."

Firth Park ward councillor Alan Law agreed that the pavement 'looks a mess' and said he had asked the council and Amey to investigate as 'it raises issues about other shopping centres'.

Sheffield Council said letters had been sent to businesses in the area advising them of the pavement resurfacing and indicating where the boundary of public and private land fell. It said no queries had been received regarding ownership of that land.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield Council, said: "We are sorry to hear that shop owners at Firth Park Shopping Centre are unhappy with the resurfacing on Bellhouse Road.

"To keep business owners informed of our plans for resurfacing in their area, a flyer was delivered to all properties and businesses between the 19th and 20th January 2017, roadshows were held in the local area and the areas due to be resurfaced were marked-up on site prior to surfacing starting.

"Businesses around the Firth Park Shopping Centre also received a letter and map to advise of the exact location of pavement resurfacing works and showing the defined extent of the highway boundaries and the private frontages. We did not receive any enquiries regarding ownership following delivery of these flyers."

He added that he was not aware of any areas in the city where the council or Amey had resurfaced pavements on private land outside shop fronts.