Coronation Street-style cobbles on roads across the city where the iconic soap is based would turn Salford into a tourist attraction and cure its pothole problem, one councillor has said.
Conservative councillor Arnold Saunders made the suggestion at a full meeting of the city council this week. Coun Saunders admitted that he made the suggestion ‘slightly tongue in cheek’, but argued the city could capitalise on the interest generated by the long-running ITV soap in which cobbled streets are a key feature.
He described the idea as ‘a lightbulb’ moment, drawing laughter from other members in the council chamber. The councillor, who is also a rabbi, compared the revelation to the Biblical story of Moses and the burning bush, where he saw it appear on fire, but it did not burn.
He said that he had looked at a pothole in the road in his ward of Kersal and Broughton Park which was several inches deep. Coun Saunders went on: “Similar to the bush that did not burn, I noticed that the cobbles underneath the broken tarmac were completely intact.
“And I thought, cobbles are part of Salford’s heritage, as any watcher of Coronation Street will know. Why don’t we go back to cobbles and put them on all our streets, then we wouldn’t have potholes. It would provide a boost for tourism and we would be the only authority that has no potholes. I look forward to seeing Salford recobbled.”
Coun Saunders made his comments during discussions on the adoption of the Salford Local Plan, which sets out development policy in the city until 2037 and has been approved ahead of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Places for Everyone Plan which is set to be adopted in the summer of 2024.
Salford’s lead member for planning and sustainable development, Coun Mike McCusker, responded to Coun Saunders suggestion by saying: “The Conservative government seems to want to take the health service back to the 19th century and now they [Coun Saunders] want to push our roads the same way.”
Salford city mayor Paul Dennett said the Local Plan, first put forward in 2015, needed to be advanced as ‘a matter of urgency’. “In the meantime we have had developers in the city exploiting our people and places because there isn’t an up-to-date local plan,” he said.