Criticism as ‘fix’ to £2m Market Place begins

Work begins on Boston Market Place
Work begins on Boston Market Place

As work begins to fix issues with Boston’s beleaguered Market Place, criticism has been levelled that the work is coming too late.

The ‘new-look’ space was re-opened almost a year ago, following a major £2 million re-vamp which saw the area closed for 10 months.

Since then it has been plagued with safety issues, access problems and parking woes – something one Boston borough councillor says should have been foreseen.

Coun Carol Taylor said: “It goes back to when it was signed off. It shouldn’t have been signed off if it wasn’t ready for everyone.”

The Witham ward councillor recently took part in a challenge walking blindfolded across the Market Place with a guide dog, to see what the issues were for those with sight problems.

Two of the main issues were a lack of suitable contrast in blister paving, which indicates the edge of a pavement, and cars parking over dropped kerbs. These new works include replacing the blister paving and efforts to mark out parking spaces more clearly to avoid confusion for motorists, as well as changes to dropped kerbs to make them more gradual.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council said work was taking place following ‘feedback and assessment’ since the space re-opened.

Senior Boston borough councillor Derek Richmond, who has responsibility for the town centre, has previously defended the market developments, claiming motorists should know their highway code.

He said the latest works had been organised following consultation with Boston’s Disability Forum.

He said: ”It was designed to be a shared space, but it seems to me that the motorists seem to think it’s still their space.”

He added: “I did expect teething problems – I didn’t expect them to be as they are now.”