'Appalling, ugly, a disgrace, an abomination' - latest row over Durham Market Place

'ABOMINATION': Tarmac instead of paving slabs in Durham Market Place

'ABOMINATION': Tarmac instead of paving slabs in Durham Market Place

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Durham)

UGLY tarmac making an ‘abomination’ of a £5.5m market place is purely a temporary measure aimed at avoiding disruption to city centre trade, project bosses have insisted.

A two-foot wide trail of black and red tarmac currently leads from outside Boots in Durham Market Place up Saddler Street and down to Elvet Bridge.

County councillor Nigel Martin said he was appalled at the “ugly run”, branding it an unacceptable disgrace and an abomination.

But a spokeswoman for electricity network provider Northern Powergrid said it was temporary and had been used because contractors were working overnight only, to avoid causing disruption to nearby businesses.

Adrian White, head of transport services at Durham County Council, said the work involved relaying a faulty electric main and the last length of cable would be laid tonight (Wednesday, April 23), before the area is returned to its original state, including York stone paving.

However, the Northern Powergrid spokesman said no completion date for the work was available, as there have been “difficulties” on site.

The clash is just the latest in the divisive recent history of the historic Market Place.

A few years ago, Durham’s biggest public campaign in decades failed to stop the £5.5m Heart of the City project, which saw the Lord Londonderry statue moved and new seats and paving installed.

Just 18 months after the project was finished, Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods branded the area a tip.

Councillor Martin said: “I understand that underground repairs have to be made from time to time, but when £5m of public money has been spent trying to improve the square, leaving this result is an unacceptable disgrace.

“I have written to the council demanding that the perpetrators of this abomination be made to come back and put things back the way they were.

“I know that many people are against the way the market square was renovated, but then to have to put up with this sort of thing beggars belief.”

He added that the council should have said what was happening in advance publicly.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:10am Thu 24 Apr 14

john davidson rr says...

Appalling, ugly, a disgrace, an abomination' every part of the title relates to how something looks, yet very lazy reporting doesn't even give us a simple photograph to judge for ourselves, or, is it not as bad as the over-hyped title would lead us to believe.
Appalling, ugly, a disgrace, an abomination' every part of the title relates to how something looks, yet very lazy reporting doesn't even give us a simple photograph to judge for ourselves, or, is it not as bad as the over-hyped title would lead us to believe. john davidson rr
  • Score: 19

12:33pm Thu 24 Apr 14

john davidson rr says...

ok, now we have a photograph and can judge for ourselves, it looks temporary, and will not offend any-one, must be a poor day for news. Send some one to Raby Road in Newton Hall and have a look at the appalling, new, permanent road surface they are laying today.
ok, now we have a photograph and can judge for ourselves, it looks temporary, and will not offend any-one, must be a poor day for news. Send some one to Raby Road in Newton Hall and have a look at the appalling, new, permanent road surface they are laying today. john davidson rr
  • Score: 22

1:15pm Thu 24 Apr 14

studio says...

Has Mr Martin got nothing better to do? It states that it is temporary, and clearly looks temporary. Im sure he would rather have this than cones and a closed footpath. Do some proper work instead of spending time writing letters to complain about something that will be gone in a few days. Idiot.
Has Mr Martin got nothing better to do? It states that it is temporary, and clearly looks temporary. Im sure he would rather have this than cones and a closed footpath. Do some proper work instead of spending time writing letters to complain about something that will be gone in a few days. Idiot. studio
  • Score: 21

3:40pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Nicholas_Till says...

Tarmac cannot 'make the Market Place an abomination' because it already is one, thanks to the Council revamp.
Tarmac cannot 'make the Market Place an abomination' because it already is one, thanks to the Council revamp. Nicholas_Till
  • Score: 20

5:11pm Thu 24 Apr 14

abdarlouk says...

Indeed it's a temporary measure and doesn't matter in the slightest. Waste of time and space and only being mentioned because there's nothing else to moan about.
Indeed it's a temporary measure and doesn't matter in the slightest. Waste of time and space and only being mentioned because there's nothing else to moan about. abdarlouk
  • Score: 12

6:49pm Thu 24 Apr 14

rat man says...

Did Councillor Martin expect the paving stones to be replaced at the end of every work shift? Live in the real world for Gods sake!
Did Councillor Martin expect the paving stones to be replaced at the end of every work shift? Live in the real world for Gods sake! rat man
  • Score: 14

10:43am Fri 25 Apr 14

Ally F says...

Nigel Martin's rantings show him up for what he is - a hysterical idiot. The contractor has used temporary surface, as is often the case, to allow access to businesses and shops fronting the footpath. They will replace this in due course in sections. They will be working to a contract agreed with their Client and I'm sure it specifies all such things.
Nigel Martin's rantings show him up for what he is - a hysterical idiot. The contractor has used temporary surface, as is often the case, to allow access to businesses and shops fronting the footpath. They will replace this in due course in sections. They will be working to a contract agreed with their Client and I'm sure it specifies all such things. Ally F
  • Score: 6

2:51pm Fri 25 Apr 14

peter laidler says...

True, the Market Place does look a sight at present, but where can you go and not see some form of remedial work going on? Better to judge when the work is finished. Having said that, Lord help us when they do put it back together if the state they usually leave our footpaths and roads in are anything to go by.
True, the Market Place does look a sight at present, but where can you go and not see some form of remedial work going on? Better to judge when the work is finished. Having said that, Lord help us when they do put it back together if the state they usually leave our footpaths and roads in are anything to go by. peter laidler
  • Score: 2

4:16pm Fri 25 Apr 14

rat man says...

Pot holes in roads and pavements should be filled with civil parking enforcement officers!
Pot holes in roads and pavements should be filled with civil parking enforcement officers! rat man
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree