Sunday, October 17, 2010


In Britain, councils are tearing up cobbles or covering them with tarmac and concrete. Why? Because people trip up on them and then claim compensation from the council. Sixty-six councils admitted to the Telegraph newspaper that they had either permanently removed or resurfaced over their cobbles in the last five years.

For example, cobbles have been removed from part of Liverpool's UNESCO site. The stones were ripped out of William Brown Street - which is lined by St George's Hall, the Central Library, and the Walker Art gallery - and the holes have been filled with Tarmac.

The council said they had loosened and needed to be removed. It insisted that, once funding was found, the cobbles would be restored.Goodness knows when that might be.

Thirty-seven local authorities surveyed said they had received a total of 159 applications for compensation from people claiming to have fallen over on cobblestones or to have experienced some sort of accident caused by them.

While some of these claims have been thrown out, others have are still ongoing and several have resulted in payouts totalling more than £100,000, including one of £25,000 from Worcestershire County Council.

Here in Bigastro, the council is bucking that trend by lining the centre of Calle Purisima with cobbles as part of the refurbishment. Either side of the cobbles there are level pavements for people to walk on. The only time when the cobbles might cause a problem is when there is some kind of parade that needs to use the centre of the road when people will need to take care. Streets leading off from Purisima are entirely cobbled so people will have to take extra care on those.

In Britain it seems that nobody is responsible for their own actions any more. Any accident that people have is always someone else's fault and an occasion to sue. You can’t blame councils for trying to reduce the burden of these claims by taking decisions and actions to avoid them; I blame the people for not showing a bit of common sense.

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