Wednesday 24 November 2021

UPDATE: Barn Hill gets new slab paving rather than asphalt - Brent Council explains


Barn Hill today

Wembley Matters has been covering the so-called 'pavement wars' for sometime with various community groups opposing Brent Council's replacement of paving stones by asphalt on aesthetic and environmental grounds, while others feel asphalt presents less of a tripping hazard.

Residents have been puzzled over the policy of replacing paving with asphalt as it does not seem to be applied uniformly across the borough.  Indeed the redesign of Wembley High Road includes some quite expensive and painstaking paving work.



 Old paving discarded


Today I saw 'three men and a wheel barrow' team installing new paving along the length of Barn Hill. Is it the steep gradient that makes paving slabs the preferred option, conservation area status, or something else?

Brent Council responded with an explanation:

Barn Hill is in a conservation area and was one of the roads we changed to reactive repairs only rather than a full re-lay. 

Through reactive works we have only replaced investigation level defects like for like i.e. paving slabs. Not all cracked slabs have been replaced if they do not meet criteria. Also, we have not reconstructed the vehicle crossings or junctions with blocks or provided resin for the tree pits, as would have been done through planned footway maintenance.

In other words, basic repairs only.

As it happens Cllr Kansagra asked about the paving policy at the recent Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny;


Anonymous said...

Thanks Martin for posting. Do you know if the question "why are they using paving slabs here and not Ashphelt?" has been put to the Council?

Martin Francis said...

Noy yet. I will do that during normal officer hours tomorrow.

David Walton said...

Pavers on family home suburban hillsides with plenty of greenery and planting all around, why not if repairs are needed and that is highways funding priority?

Given its climate and ecological emergency declared, I wonder if Brent has ever considered re-cycling pavers from its anti-nature flood risk zones of excessive paver over-use i.e. considered de paving and re-allowing nature some healthy living space?

Philip Grant said...

My guess would be that they are re-paving with slabs because this is part of the Barn Hill Conservation Area, and black tarmac paths would be detrimental to the character of that area.

I live on a suburban housing estate of similar age to Barn Hill, but not a Conservation Area. Conways, on behalf of Brent Council, are currently replacing the slab pavements in my road with asphalt (and grey block paving for the cross-overs to driveways).

It is rather disturbing to see the existing paving slabs, many of which have survived intact for years, simply smashed up, then taken away by a grabber lorry. What a waste of recyclable resources!

The new paving looks good, when it is first done, but how long will it last that way? Only time will tell (unless you live in a street where similar re-paving was done a few years ago, and can add a comment below, please, sharing your experience).

Anonymous said...

A response from Brent's Highways Contracts & Delivery Manager a couple of years back on what happens to the old slabs: "The old paving slabs will generally be recycled by being taken away, crushed, and re-laid in new pavement construction as the underlying “sand and gravel” foundation layer."

Paul Lorber said...

Brent Council will do as they please but are consistent in ignoring local peoples views. Harrowdene Road in Sudbury was upgraded in two parts. The 1st half is now covered with slabs and the 2nd half in asphalt. The bits they forgot to do (and the Labour Councillors failed to point out to them) have been ignored and continue to have have not been upgraded and are crumbling and dangerous.

While most areas are getting asphalt imposed on them - Wembley high Road partly in Tokyngton (Cllr Butt) and his Environment Colleague for Wembley Central (Cllr Krupa Set are getting very expensive small scale slabs. The process involves digging up NEW paving slabs laid down by a private developer only 6 months ago and perfectly good asphalt paving in part of the High Road between Central Square and Ealing Road. Why? Because the officers will do anything to please the Leader and no amount of financial waste is good enough.

Many projects are paid from the so called £17 recovery fund which Labour Councillors stashed away from Covid Grants received from the Government. There was no need for such a high Council Tax Rise this year as the £17 million was there last March but not highlighted to Councillors - as much more useful for a spending spree 6 months before a local elections.

AND by the way while Brent Council has a clear criteria for prioritising which streets get new paving slabs - the pre election batch paid for out of the £17 million pot did not have to meet that same criteria. So decisions are made on basis if Labour election priorities and not on the basis of need.

Yet the Brent Chief Executive says nothing and the Council's Internal Audit responsible for monitoring 'fishy expenditure decisions' (let's call it political fraud) does nothing either.

Anonymous said...

Not only is the new High Road paving expensive it is also completely unnecessary work badly impacting on the environment due to new material deliveries, old materials being removed and traffic jams due to lane closures.