A BYGONE era in Worcester's history has once again disappeared from view - with council chiefs facing criticism for covering it up.

Three months after calls were made to place reinforced glass flooring at Cathedral island so tourists can take a peek at the old Lich Street, the idea has now officially died a death.

Back in April Councillor Lynn Denham urged a re-think over the current £1.9 million overhaul so the Lich Street cellars, which were left exposed during an archaeological dig, could be kept in public view permanently.

But despite an explosion of public interest which led to guided tours, a surge of activity on social media and even an exhibition, the county council has kept the revamp as it is - saying it was impractical to make a reality.

Bosses at the authority say the suggestion was too late because the designs mean most of the 'interesting' sections of Lich Street will form a section of highway once the project is finished.

Councillor Denham said today: "The reality is, I think they were always intending to cover it up, whatever was found there, I fear.

"It's really sad, this is a piece of Worcester's history that gave us all a sense of what the city used to be like.

"It's a wonderful piece of history that was covered up before, unfortunately we're doing exactly the same again."

She added that she was a supporter of the overall Cathedral square revamp despite her concern at losing the view of the cellars.

When Councillor Denham raised it during a city council planning committee meeting in April there was widespread support for a viewing section, with artificial lighting.

After that private talks took place with the city and county councils about it.

Lich Street was built over in the 1960s for the current Cathedral roundabout, which is shrinking in size to make room for a new giant European-style piazza.

It is being done alongside work by investors Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund to improve Cathedral Plaza.

The 220,000 sq ft shopping centre will get seven new restaurants overlooking the new public square and remodelled shop units, a gym and foodstore.

The county council today said it took the decision to not go ahead with a viewing section because they considered it unsafe and not practical.

Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member for highways, said: "Keen to make the most of all opportunities, the council considered the possibility of inserting a glass viewing window before the archaeological dig was started.

"The idea being that if anything was found that showed a unique area of archaeology, it could offer interest via the viewing chamber and the council would incorporate it into the design.

"As the archaeology progressed we became aware that the majority of the excavation containing anything of local historical interest would be situated underneath the carriageway element of the scheme, rather than the public realm area.

"Sadly this means that it would be neither a practical nor a safe option."