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Questions raised over plastic plan on Parker's Piece in Cambridge

Parkers Piece, Cambridge
Parkers Piece, Cambridge

Cambridge City Council is considering using a form of plastic to reinforce the grass edges of the footpaths on Parker's Piece.

The plastic would be used on areas of the footpaths which have become worn due to use by cyclists and pedestrians.

The council is consulting on plans to install plastic geo-grid cells beneath the surface, set on a foundation wrapped in a geo-textile layer, and topped with new grass.

The construction is designed to be more load bearing and free draining, with the foundation able to store excess water thereby reducing the likelihood of puddles and muddy areas forming along the edges of the paths.

A spokesperson for the council said: “This should improve the grass edges for pedestrian and cycles without losing the grass covering.

“The proposed improvement sections are the paths running from the centre of the open space around Reality Checkpoint to the University Arms Hotel, and to the kiosk/toilets adjacent to Gonville Place.”

The council says the move would improve the grass edges for pedestrians and cycles without losing the grass covering. The majority of the reinforcements would be one metre wide. At the access near the kiosk/toilet, the width will be increased due to the high volume of traffic in the area and because of historical damage.

But at a time when the use of plastic is being criticised, the plans are set to come under greater scrutiny.

Ian Ralls, of Friends of the Earth (Cambridge), said: “I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea. Would it not be possible to build up the edges and put bark down, or something like that?

“Apart from the environmental damage, there’s also the risk that it will become detached at the edges and people trip over it.”

Residents have been given the opportunity to comment on the proposals, or raise any design issues that haven’t been considered.

Have your say at cambridge.gov.uk.

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