RESIDENTS in Alston have reacted with horror after road resurfacing work led to the historic cobbles on Front Street being replaced with tarmac.

The work, which was completed last week, involved essential maintenance to ensure the road surface was 100 per cent safe, according to Cumbria County Council.

County councillor for Alston, Claire Driver, said: “The section of road which has been resurfaced was badly damaged which, following inspection, was deemed in need of repair in advance of the winter months.

“The work already undertaken, along with the overall delivery budget we’re seeking, represents a significant investment in the infrastructure of Alston, the level of which has not happened for a long time.

“It’s a shock to the system, but it’s a positive situation we’re in – it’s just hard to see it.”

Coun Driver added that plans were in place to restore the cobbles when funding was available.

The proposals for the Front Street redevelopment were discussed at two public consultations hosted by Cumbria County Council during the summer.

However, concerned residents have taken to social media to express their anger over the loss of the cobbles.

A Facebook group called ‘Save Alston Front Street’ was set up by local resident Andy Holt and has more than 350 members.

He said: “Within the action group to reinstate our cobbles, a quick survey has found that more than 250 people are opposed to the permanent removal of the cobbles and the outlined action plan.

“The group is now insisting on a return to the drawing board with a full explanation as to what is going on.”