After what seems like an eternity the barriers are finally being removed after the much-discussed Montague Street repave – and I, for one, think the results look brilliant.
We now have a Mediterranean-style open plaza with a pink hue on the bricks, covering sails and a bandstand we an actually call a bandstand, as opposed to a seating area. As one who was reluctant for the removal of our old one, I can now see the logic of opening up the space to allow for markets, events and proper live music events under the new covering.
The repave was one of the most contentious and talked about items in a long time, but the area really needed smartening up and although it did take a while, which was largely due to utilities companies updating underground cables, we are now fully open for business.
There are those that have argued that money should be spent elsewhere, but for us town traders it couldn’t have come sooner.
The best way I like to describe it to those who did not approve is simple. If you were selling your house you would make sure the frontage was nicely painted, the path to the door was clean and the garden wasn’t overgrown to create good first impression.
For us retailers this is our front of house – we need a clean, well-maintained public area to be able to show off our town in its best light and the old, cracked patchwork paving and Tarmac-filled gaps looked dreadful.
The way the paving has been laid with small bricks sideways will mean that cracks are kept to a minimum, and they are easy to replace and will withstand the heavy goods vehicles that use the road to make deliveries.
We must now make sure that West Sussex County Council doesn’t rest on its laurels and we see the funds found to repave the whole street.
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