World's first pedestrian zone refurbished

East Sussex firm resurface Leicester's historical promenade

Think of Leicester these days and many will picture the powerful Leicester Tigers rugby team or Leicester City soccer team. But how about what is said to be the world’s first, and therefore oldest, pedestrian zone? New Walk’s ancestry can be traced back to the original tree- and shrub-lined promenade, laid out in 1785. Properties built along it over the years are varied in design and no wheeled vehicles have been allowed in all that time. New Walk is in the heart of the town and has undergone restoration as part of a £2 million project. The Friends of New Walk Charitable Trust aims to preserve it as a pedestrian-only walkway and to encourage appropriate renovation and redevelopment in what it calls the jewel in Leicester’s crown. Addastone, a resin-bonded hard landscaping surface from East Sussex firm Addagrip was chosen for the resurfacing. Leicester City Council building conservation officer David Trubshaw said Addastone looked like loose gravel but without its associated problems. The product uses two-to-five-millimetre corn flint from a dry river bed near St Ives in Cambridgeshire and gives an easy-to-maintain, slip-retardant surface. Cirencester Civil Engineering managing director Peter Kay said: “The council is extremely pleased with the aesthetics and performance of the surface.”

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