THE exact date when the ripping up of Widemarsh Street's notorious kerbs has been given again after work was seemingly pushed back.

The kerbs, which have been the cause of several trips and falls since being installed in 2011, will be replaced in a four-month project from March.

Work will include the removal of the current 50mm kerb by lifting and replacing the road surface, with new channel blocks and drainage system.

According to Herefordshire Council, the work was meant to take 16 weeks from Monday, February 13.


But now, Balfour Beatty Living Places has said it will take 17 weeks from Monday, March 13.

In a letter to local homes and businesses, Balfour Beatty Living Places said it would be working in partnership with Herefordshire Council to deliver developments in Hereford city centre to create a more attractive environment for residents, visitors, shoppers, workers and local businesses.

It also wanted to encourage people into the city and ensure that they have a great experience when they are there.

Work will be carried out in two phases, under a road closure.

During the first phase, Balfour Beatty will be working between the junction with Blue School Street and Maylord Street. During the second phase, it will be working between the junction with Maylord Street and High Street.

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There will be no access for vehicles on Widemarsh Street during the works, but pedestrian access will be maintained at all times and local businesses will be open as normal.

Diversions will be in place for deliveries to businesses on Widemarsh Street.

The existing street design was completed in 2011 and has been subject to several specialist design and safety reviews.

Hereford Times: Widemarsh Street, Hereford, will be closed to vehicles for more than four monthsWidemarsh Street, Hereford, will be closed to vehicles for more than four months (Image: Rob Davies)

All of these have concluded that the scheme is fully in line with design guidance and best practice.

But the public has continued to lobby local councillors as well as the cabinet member regarding incidents personal to them.

"This will be expensive but it is a cost we are certain we must pay to ensure this street scheme is what the visitors and residents of Herefordshire deserve," Coun John Harrington, Herefordshire Council's roads chief, previously said.

"I am only sorry that it has taken so long to address".

Widemarsh Street kerb replacement to cost £1.2 million

The council’s director for economy and environment Ross Cook approved work to replace the five-centimetre (two-inch) high kerbs replaced with what are described as “channel blocks and a linear drainage system”.

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His decision puts the budget for the whole job at £1.3 million, intended to cover any additional surveying, the lifting of the road surface, incorporating new porphyry “setts” and drainage, as well as traffic management and communications.

Councillor John Harrington, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said Widemarsh Street was built with the best of intentions with the aim of promoting pedestrian safety.

"But it is our opinion as an administration, that unfortunately and undeniably, the design has caused difficulties for some pedestrians, and this is something we were keen to remedy," he said.

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