How we use Cookies

Pavements are cracking up

A SENIOR councillor has hit out at the "disgraceful" state of pavements along Fleet's main road.

Hart cabinet member Sharyn Wheale went on a detailed fact-finding mission on September 30 and was shocked to find more than 200 blackspots which need urgent attention.

"We recorded more than 200 danger spots in the pavements," said Cllr Wheale.

"The roads are also full of holes and uneven surfaces, making it dangerous for cyclists, and the whole town is impossible for the disabled. The town also looks tired and dirty.

"It is obvious that Fleet has missed out on funding and maintenance over the last two decades."

Cllr Wheale decided to act after a question from a member of the Hart Access group during a Hart full council meeting.

"I would like to know when and how the badly maintained pavements in Fleet main street will be repaired safely and satisfactorily," the question asked.

"I know that they received some attention last year after complaints from Access and others, but they were not done properly and are now in a more dangerous condition than before, especially to those with difficulty in walking and to wheelchairs and pushchairs."

Cllr Wheale, cabinet member for Fleet and Church Crookham, said: "As a daily user of Fleet town centre I too am extremely concerned over the condition of the pavements and I am now getting many complaints about this matter.

"I received a letter recently from a Fleet resident who tripped over a dangerous paving slab and broke a wrist and rib."


Cllr Wheale said Hampshire County Council's highways department is responsible for maintaining the pavement.

"I have passed the complaint on to the county council's chief engineer at Hook who advises me that there is not a scheme in the rolling maintenance programme at this time."

Cllr Wheale said the Fleet town centre traffic and environmental improvement scheme will include resurfacing the road and footways in Fleet Road together with other measures to improve traffic movement, road safety and public access.

"This scheme, which is pending, will also give greater priority especially to pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport," said Cllr Wheale.

"Considerable funds of about £50,000 were spent in the last financial year to re-lay sections of footway, replacing individual broken slabs and installing bollards to prevent vehicles from mounting the pavement and causing further damage.

"These works were intended to make the footways safe until the proposed major works are carried out.

"Consultation on the preferred scheme for Fleet town centre is progressing but in the meantime the county council inspect Fleet Road once a month and any safety defect arising from these inspections is dealt with immediately.

"In my view, investment in Fleet town centre has been badly lacking for decades. As Hart residents we all have a right to expect a safe environment in our towns and villages.

"Hampshire County Council is long overdue spending our taxes on our town.

"It is vital that a scheme is agreed in the very near future otherwise wasted expenditure will continue by trying to maintain the unsatisfactory surfaces which are dangerous, unsightly and repeatedly require replacement."

Cllr Wheale added: "Fleet town centre has a lot of potential. Most people would like to see some changes but also see Fleet keep its character.

"I am very conscious of this and am working with Hampshire County Council, Fleet Town Centre Management Group and the district council, putting their views and the public's concerns forward.

"I'm sure we all want a more pleasant and safe environment and somewhere we can enjoy living, working and shopping."

Sharyn Wheale is pictured by Kevin Whibley finding big cracks in Fleet Road's pavements.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area