Town facelift 'will bring £400,000 worth of misery'

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A BUSINESSMAN believes a £400,000 makeover of Upton-upon-Severn town centre will bring nothing but “misery and disruption”.

After its start was delayed by the recent snow, Worcestershire County Council has now begun work to improve road surfaces, pavements and crossing points in High Street, Lower High Street and Old Street.

It says this will boost the local economy by making the town centre safer and more attractive for residents and visitors alike.

But Peter Lynch Williams, director of air charter supply business Flaps International, based in Tunnel Hill, has slammed the scheme, describing it as “the sack of Upton”. He said road closures and disruptions in the coming weeks would be “calamitous” and questioned whether “beleaguered citizens of Upton” would see any benefits.

“Have these people no concept of the real financial difficulties facing businesses in the town, many of whom stand at the very cliff edge of calamity?” he said.

“While as residents we are only too pleased to accept government largesse in the form of the new and excellent flood barrier, who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to once more assume the role of ‘business prevention czar’?”

Mr Lynch Williams said he did not believe there had been adequate public consultation and that time and money would have been better spent raising the flood-prone Hanley Road and imposing a 7.5-tonne weight limit on the main street through the town.

But a county council spokesman said the scheme was only agreed after detailed discussions with traders, the town council and Upton Tourism and Trade Association (UTTA).

“Plans for the final scheme, which included several changes identified by these key groups, were available to view at the town hall and library from July 11 to August 24 and comments invited. The scheme was modified further, where appropriate, to reflect the views of local people,” he said.

Traders had been consulted on when best to carry out the work and that great care had been taken to limit any full closures of the High Street to Sundays only.

“This investment in the area is being made to enhance the local economy, improve safety and open up access to the town centre as well as generally improving the environment,” he said. Annette Keyworth, chairman of UTTA, said the project was very welcome and would be a “real asset” for the town.

Comments (5)

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2:13pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

He's not wrong! This will do nothing to boost the local economy. It's the same thing Worcester City Council are considering in the high street. Nice pavements do not equal improved sales for businesses.

It is already disruptive in the town and the progress appears to be quite slow so far.

Frankly, in the current climate that £400,000 would have been better not spent at all, but unfortunately all layers of government seem hell bent on bankrupting us!
He's not wrong! This will do nothing to boost the local economy. It's the same thing Worcester City Council are considering in the high street. Nice pavements do not equal improved sales for businesses. It is already disruptive in the town and the progress appears to be quite slow so far. Frankly, in the current climate that £400,000 would have been better not spent at all, but unfortunately all layers of government seem hell bent on bankrupting us! Landy44
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Redhillman says...

Another ill conceived project from the council. Apart from questioning whether this scheme is worth it and whether it will achieve any benefits, there is also the question of poor planning yet again which will affect businesses. It it is also very clear the council have decided not consult locals adequately again and are simply forcing a scheme through because they think they have the right as council staff, as well as thinking they're gods.They're nothing more than ignorant and arrogant bully boys.
Another ill conceived project from the council. Apart from questioning whether this scheme is worth it and whether it will achieve any benefits, there is also the question of poor planning yet again which will affect businesses. It it is also very clear the council have decided not consult locals adequately again and are simply forcing a scheme through because they think they have the right as council staff, as well as thinking they're gods.They're nothing more than ignorant and arrogant bully boys. Redhillman
  • Score: 0

8:59am Tue 19 Feb 13

RobertR says...

If it's anything like Pershore's makeover then you have my sympathy.
The High street is a terrible mess with wonky bollards, huge gaps in the badly laid block paving, a trip hazard, a haven for fag ends ,and the dangerous pedestrian crossing at Broad Street junction. We had months of disruption for a very poor job. If it had been on my property I would refused to pay for it. Evesham's High street looks much better.
If it's anything like Pershore's makeover then you have my sympathy. The High street is a terrible mess with wonky bollards, huge gaps in the badly laid block paving, a trip hazard, a haven for fag ends ,and the dangerous pedestrian crossing at Broad Street junction. We had months of disruption for a very poor job. If it had been on my property I would refused to pay for it. Evesham's High street looks much better. RobertR
  • Score: 0

11:38am Tue 19 Feb 13

TioTio says...

I agree with Mr Lynch Williams. Having driven into Upton recently to shop, I have turned around on several occasions and gone elsewhere. The current chaos will inevitably be driving others away too. I also fail to see how the apparent transformation of the town centre will have the desired effect.

And as for UTC and public consultation...this is probably one of those rare occasions you will see those two words in the same sentence!

I'm afraid recent decision-making in the town has left a lot to be desired. Bridge-painting, leasing car parks, new housing developments, etc. The list is endless. More worryingly however is the fact that they are now taking decisions that will have a severe and detrimental impact on the town for a very long time to come.

UTC are consistently failing the residents of Upton. This needs to stop. The starting point will hopefully be this Thursday's Extraordinary Meeting they have called, albeit belatedly, to address the groundswell of opposition to the housing/planning policies they seem hell-bent on imposing without due consideration, process or consultation.
I agree with Mr Lynch Williams. Having driven into Upton recently to shop, I have turned around on several occasions and gone elsewhere. The current chaos will inevitably be driving others away too. I also fail to see how the apparent transformation of the town centre will have the desired effect. And as for UTC and public consultation...this is probably one of those rare occasions you will see those two words in the same sentence! I'm afraid recent decision-making in the town has left a lot to be desired. Bridge-painting, leasing car parks, new housing developments, etc. The list is endless. More worryingly however is the fact that they are now taking decisions that will have a severe and detrimental impact on the town for a very long time to come. UTC are consistently failing the residents of Upton. This needs to stop. The starting point will hopefully be this Thursday's Extraordinary Meeting they have called, albeit belatedly, to address the groundswell of opposition to the housing/planning policies they seem hell-bent on imposing without due consideration, process or consultation. TioTio
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Horatio One says...

These are insignificant changes that won't be seen once the area is littered with traffic and seem to only provide work for the WCC .
These are insignificant changes that won't be seen once the area is littered with traffic and seem to only provide work for the WCC . Horatio One
  • Score: 0

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