Hippo paving the way for a cracking headache(April 13, 2009)
OUR new town centre pavements will take 30 months to install but possibly just 30 minutes to destroy.
The new specially ordered and laid slabs are designed to withstand the pounding of footsteps and the occasional buggy - but can they sustain the weight of a hippo?
One driver decided to test this out by parking his heavy hire vehicle on the pavement outside the historic Chapel of St. Lawrence in the High Street
The 'hippo van' was parked there rather than inconvenience and risk the wrath of other drivers.
"This is becoming a regular sight unfortunately," said former councillor Paul Macdonald. "I am no expert but I doubt whether the pavements have been designed to take the weight of vans.
"It really is another oversight as so many people predicted this was just what was going to happen.
"It increasingly seems that this scheme, which is still not finished will need yet another phase added at yet more expense
"They will have to look at placing reinforced pavement bollards to prevent vehicles mounting the kerb and parking illegally.
(Another regular problem is illegal parking on the nearby disabled bay).
"It is a real shame as the scheme has many merits but people seem to be able to find fault all the time," added Paul.
"Luckily the pavements were still wide enough for people to get by but it will not be long before something bigger appears, the word hippo is forgotten, and the words 'white elephant' take over."
"There are also problems looming when the scheme is extended near to the taxi offices and drivers are already speculating about what may happen," added Steve Dancey.
"Of course the work has been suspended until June - we've been told by the delay has nothing to do with shortage of funds so perhaps it is because of the nearness of the elections."