Lord Street Southport & the Ashford Kent Ring Road

Exceptionally, in 2009, there were two recipients of the Paviors’ Award for excellence in paving.

Lord Street Improvements, Southport

The Lord Street project restored part of Southport’s most important public spaces. The new pedestrian-friendly space around the war memorial includes high quality stone paving and seats for the citizens and visitors to Southport. Features include decorative balustrade walls, fountains, bronze sculptures and a sun dial.

The Master, Andrew Panter, and the Paviors’ Award judge, Mike Cottell, travelled to Southport on 6 July to make the awards of certificates and a commemorative plaque. Unfortunately, the weather was unkind and the presentation party had to shelter under the war memorial until the storm had passed over. A short gap of fine weather allowed the presentation to be made on the Lord Street pedestrian area. The commemorative plaque and certificate were presented to the client, Sefton Borough Council, represented by The Mayor, Cllr Alf Doran, and a certificate each to the designer, Capita Symonds, represented by Andrew Sawyer and Paul Grogan, and to the contractor, Balfour Beatty, represented by Dragan Barnet.

‘De-ringing’ of the Ashford Ring Road, Kent

The ‘de-ringing’ of the Ashford Ring Road is a very innovative scheme where the objectives were to improve the town of Ashford by breaking the barrier created by the three and four-lane one-way ring-road around the traditional town centre. This enabled the development of adjacent areas for shopping, housing and offices. The scheme raises the profile of Ashford and facilitates the development and growth of the town. The works involved the removal of traditional highway signs and markings, and introduced a ‘shared space’, where pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles have equal status. A 20mph zone has been introduced, but it is the appearance and layout of the streets which are the key to achieving the required behaviour and responsibility of all users. The project included impressive paving and street furniture, and interesting artistic features. The imaginative scheme is one of the first shared-space projects in the UK.

On 9 October 2009, the Master Andrew Panter, accompanied by the award judge, Mike Cottell, went to Ashford and presented certificates and a commemorative plaque to Councillor Nick Chard of Kent County Council, Cabinet member for Environment, Highways and Waste, representing the client; Mr Paul Winton of consultants Whitelaw Turkington, designers; and to Jonathon Stewart of Jackson Civil Engineering, contractors.