Tarmac Paving – a tale of two councils

Tarmac Paving – a tale of two councils

We have been reporting in recent years on the mass destruction of footpaths in numerous roads across the city with many of these roads in Conservation areas. The paving has been ripped up and dumped and replaced by black tarmac. And the policy of not relaying individual paving stones but to break them up and replace with tarmac has continued, leaving along with all the graffiti, the unkempt appearance so prevalent of the City

A result of Brighton’s Tarmac Policy


And the lovely Pelham Square had the Christmas present of the council’s contractors ripping up their footpaths.  In answer to the residents protests Councillor Tim Rowkins, Chair of Environment, told them that there was no choice and anyway the Victorians and Georgians used tarmac paving to set off their housing developments.  Of course this is rubbish and Victorian and Georgian developers would have apoplexy to see tarmac in front of their houses. Instead they used smart, long lasting paving to set off their houses and of course would also use ornate cast iron lampposts to add to the appearance.

Tarmac paving being dumped in skip in London

I guess the idea that Georgians would use tarmac probably came from the Highways staff.  When the Green Party was in charge the Chair of Environment, Amy Healey came out with the idea that the wholescale destruction of paved footpath was an essential element in ensuring that the council would reach its zero carbon targets.  Of course this was also rubbish – replacing paving stones with oil based tarmac can only cause additional carbon emissions whilst relaying a paving stone causes no carbon emissions.

Laying new paving in London

On a visit to West London I came across the welcome sight of a council breaking up tarmac footpaths and dumping the remains in a skip and laying smart new paving.  The skill involved was a joy to watch – presumably a skill that does not exist anymore in Brighton and Hove. And of course well laid out paved footpaths look so good and improves the appearance of housing and the surrounding area.  If only we had similar enlightened management in our city.

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