Wednesday 17 November 2004 11.54am
The majority of these schemes look good on paper and are well intentioned, but many have fundamental flaws. One reason people don't use the Southwark Street
benches is because they are made of concrete, a cold, hard material that's not too nice to sit on. This is something taught to 2nd year urban planning and design students - clearly this scheme was by an architect !
The river walk by Southwark Bridge looked nice when new, but the cheapness of its construction is now showing with bits of cladding missing and the lights shining up the wall no longer working. Where bits have broken they have been repaired using cheap materials from the council depot, ruining the look. This problem has also afflicted Borough High Street
where chunks of good quality semi-engineering brick paving have been lifted for access to utilities, then somehow been filled in with tarmac. You can also see this around Elephant & Castle where what already appears to be cheap and poorly laid paving has been repaired with tarmac and paving slabs of different sizes. When implementing such schemes, councils should have a maintanence plan in place so that repairs are made to the original spec.