The mayor of Stamford is calling on the council not to replace the cobbles in Red Lion Square with stone setts, and to instead use tarmac.
Yorkshire setts were initially installed in Red Lion Square in 2007, and the location has previously been used as a backdrop for filming period dramas. However, in recent years the stone setts required ongoing maintenance as vehicles moving through the square caused them to move around, lift out of place or break.
Lincolnshire County Council announced plans last year to replace the stones with thicker setts on a stronger base. The council previously said work to repair the stone cobbles would begin in the summer of 2022 with the five-month project estimated to cost £1.4million.
The council intends to keep, and update, the cobbled square despite opposition from Stamford’s Mayor Gloria Johnson, who believes tarmac would be a cheaper option with leftover money used to repair local roads instead.
Councillor Johnson told BBC Look North: “I would like the setts replacing with tarmac. The tarmac could be done in a stone colour to match the setts so it looks better.
“I fully appreciate that aesthetically the setts would look better, but they’re not practical and they’re very, very expensive”
However, Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill said: “We just feel that really for somewhere as historic as Stamford really that’s probably not the best solution, so we are proposing to spend a bit more money on putting cobbles back down instead of just tarmaccing it over.”
The council said that using tarmac to cover Red Lion Square would cost £44 per square metre, while setts would cost £744 per square metre, with the location covering a total area of 620 square metres, according to the BBC.
Back in 2020, Stamford residents reacted with horror when traditional paving setts in the heart of the town were repacked with patches of tarmac.