Fringe Box



Letter: High Street Setts – Just How Much Money Has Been Spent On Poor Repairs?

Published on: 25 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2013

Setts RepairFrom Gordon Bridger

Hon Alderman

I naturally welcome the belated decision by the joint Guildford Borough Council (GBC)/Surrey County Council (SCC) Local Committee to repair the High Street setts. A plan was agreed, after many years of denial that GBC had any responsibility for them, in November 2010 to repair five of the worst bits, probably about 30% of the total, excluding Chapel Street.

This work was eventually completed by closing off areas and  repairing or replacing every sett within it. Not a very high quality result and  the most costly way of doing it. Since then the rest has badly deteriorated.

The reported statement, included in the paper discussed at the Local Committee,  “that they have invested several hundred thousand pounds in repairing damaged areas using different techniques with varying degrees of success,” is really quite horrifying. How many “hundreds of thousands”?  Why so much ?

Surrey County Council and its contractors are famous for their costly repairs but surely there are more efficient and economic ways of repairing these setts  than spending “hundreds and thousands of pounds”?

One suggestion worth considering is for GBC’s engineers department to engage a craftsman for a year or two, maybe with an apprentice, to do this work. The worst areas could be dealt with very quickly, within weeks, and the rest within a year or two, at a fraction of the cost of SCC highways contractors, as most of the High Street and Chapel Street should be in good shape.

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