Workmen have begun removing the cobblestone pathways around the village of Dunster in Somerset. The distinctive cobblestone paths have existed for hundreds of years, but concerns over people slipping on the surface and the difficulty in moving wheelchairs and strollers along them have led local officials to have them removed.
It is now being replaced with natural stone paving, with about a foot of the cobblestone surface being left on either side. The cobblestones were in poor condition and local businesses and community members were unwilling to pay for repairs because it would expose them to liability if anyone was injured when walking on them.
A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “Somerset County Council has been co-operating with the Dunster Working Group over many years to improve conditions for the travelling public in Dunster. The installation of the natural stone section through the centre of the cobbled area will provide a good quality surface for wheelchair users, pushchair users and pedestrians alike. As much of the cobbled area as possible will be retained so that the look of the finished scheme will be sympathetic to its historic surroundings.”
The village of Dunster was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is frequently used in television and movie filming because of its historic character.