Repairs 'messing up' historic city street

Oxford Mail: Pete Bonney in Merton Street, Oxford Pete Bonney in Merton Street, Oxford

OXFORD City Council has come under fire after repairing a historic cobbled street in the city with asphalt.

One passer-by said the repair work had left Merton Street dotted with “ugly” black patches and called for new cobbles to be installed.

Last night, the city council said the repairs were temporary and it was waiting for funding to complete the project.

Pete Bonney, 70, of Wood Farm, first saw the repair work yesterday.

He said: “It’s scandalous – the road looks awful now.

“Merton Street is a historic part of Oxford and cobble roads are what gives it so much of its character.

“Now there are great big black splodges all down it and it has really ruined the area.”

Mr Bonney, who fundraises for homeless people in the city, added: “They should have replaced the cobbles so the road looked like it did before. This is just lazy.

“You can see how many tourists go down there for tours and taking pictures.

“The pictures won’t be as nice now, that’s for sure.”

Last night, no-one from the civic society was available for comment.

City council spokesman Annette Cunningham said said: “The recent repairs to the road surface in Merton Street are intended as a temporary measure. Approval for works from English Heritage and securing funding from Oxfordshire County Council are both necessary before further work commences.”

However, the county council, which is the highways authority, said it had yet to receive an application for funding.

Spokesman Owen Morton said: “From what the city are saying it suggests they intend to apply for funding for further work on this street.”

Oxford University colleges Merton, Corpus Christi, University and Christ Church all have entrances on Merton Street.

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The part of Merton Street which joins High Street used to be known as Coach and Horses Lane, named after a former pub on the street. Between the early 18th and late 19th century it was called King Street.

The rest of the street, which runs from east to west, was originally called St John Baptist’s Street after the church which is now Merton College’s chapel.

Comments (6)

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6:43pm Sat 27 Mar 10

Andrew:Oxford says...

Given how attractive this street could be, perhaps ownership should be migrated to a consortium of Merton, Corpus Christi, University and Christ Church colleges. As with Magdalen street, it would have to be closed for a couple of days a year to reinforce the ownership (perhaps some form of market could take place over for the August Bank Holiday weekend) Income for the upkeep of the street would come from parking (circa £250,000 per annum) and rental of market pitches for the few days it is closed each year.
Given how attractive this street could be, perhaps ownership should be migrated to a consortium of Merton, Corpus Christi, University and Christ Church colleges. As with Magdalen street, it would have to be closed for a couple of days a year to reinforce the ownership (perhaps some form of market could take place over for the August Bank Holiday weekend) Income for the upkeep of the street would come from parking (circa £250,000 per annum) and rental of market pitches for the few days it is closed each year. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Sat 27 Mar 10

BicesterBod says...

Andrew - That seems like a very sensible idea... so therefore there is no way that the council will consider it, unfortunately!
Andrew - That seems like a very sensible idea... so therefore there is no way that the council will consider it, unfortunately! BicesterBod
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Sat 27 Mar 10

faatmaan says...

perhaps the council could have ignored the pot holes , so the street really was kept in the authentic condition roads of old england were. these sort of roads need expensive attention with suitable materials, a temporary job is better than no job.
I'm sure their are people in Oxford whos only reason for living is akin to Mrs whitehouse and her national viewing society, to sit and wait for things to complain about.
perhaps the council could have ignored the pot holes , so the street really was kept in the authentic condition roads of old england were. these sort of roads need expensive attention with suitable materials, a temporary job is better than no job. I'm sure their are people in Oxford whos only reason for living is akin to Mrs whitehouse and her national viewing society, to sit and wait for things to complain about. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

12:01am Sun 28 Mar 10

rickenback says...

excuse me if im mad but wasnt this guy a cripple on crutches last week?
excuse me if im mad but wasnt this guy a cripple on crutches last week? rickenback
  • Score: 0

12:56am Sun 28 Mar 10

Isisbridge says...

What messes up the streets far more than potholes is the council's ugly signs all over the place. It's very difficult to take pictures of the historic buildings without some obtrusive sign getting in the way. The worst ones are the Pedestrian Zone signs and the Traffic Enforcement Cameras signs. And there's hardly a lamp-post in Oxford that doesn't have some kind of sign attached to it.
What messes up the streets far more than potholes is the council's ugly signs all over the place. It's very difficult to take pictures of the historic buildings without some obtrusive sign getting in the way. The worst ones are the Pedestrian Zone signs and the Traffic Enforcement Cameras signs. And there's hardly a lamp-post in Oxford that doesn't have some kind of sign attached to it. Isisbridge
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Sun 28 Mar 10

Andrew:Oxford says...

Isisbridge wrote:
What messes up the streets far more than potholes is the council's ugly signs all over the place. It's very difficult to take pictures of the historic buildings without some obtrusive sign getting in the way. The worst ones are the Pedestrian Zone signs and the Traffic Enforcement Cameras signs. And there's hardly a lamp-post in Oxford that doesn't have some kind of sign attached to it.
Exactly. Yet another reason why these streets should transfer to a College Consortium. As privately owned streets, the Colleges would be empowered to employ street furniture that enhanced rather than detracted.
[quote][p][bold]Isisbridge[/bold] wrote: What messes up the streets far more than potholes is the council's ugly signs all over the place. It's very difficult to take pictures of the historic buildings without some obtrusive sign getting in the way. The worst ones are the Pedestrian Zone signs and the Traffic Enforcement Cameras signs. And there's hardly a lamp-post in Oxford that doesn't have some kind of sign attached to it.[/p][/quote]Exactly. Yet another reason why these streets should transfer to a College Consortium. As privately owned streets, the Colleges would be empowered to employ street furniture that enhanced rather than detracted. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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