Parklets' seating removed from Louth's Mercer Row after vandalism

The seating on the controversial Parklets located on Louth's Mercer Row have been removed after they were vandalised, it has been reported.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard
The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard

The Parklets, which were placed on Mercer Row at the end of August as part of the town’s Active Travel Scheme, had the seating elements removed yesterday (Wednesday) after it was confirmed that the seats were removed from the structure and left in an “unsafe and obstructive way” in the adjacent alleyway.

The seats have been taken to a depot for Lincolnshire County Council’s team to investigate the damage caused.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways said: "Vandalising the units is simply unacceptable.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard

"This is the second case of vandalism that has happened to these units on Mercer Row and we will be conducting a further investigation into what has happened.

"It's a real shame that the people of Louth who have been using this unit for its intended purpose will now not be able to continue to do so until we have been able to investigate the level of damage caused."

The Louth Active Travel Scheme is an 18-month-long trial by Lincolnshire County Council that sees the restriction of traffic along Mercer Row in order to create a larger pedestrianised area feeding into Cornmarket in a bid to encourage the town’s café culture and manage traffic flow in the town centre.

The parklets were installed in a bid to “encourage more pedestrians to slow down and enjoy the easier pace of the town’s café culture”.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard

A recent meeting at the Royal British Legion saw around 250 people – including the Federation of Small Businesses – vote almost unanimously in favour of calling on the council to halt the LATS and restore parking to how it was before changes were made across both Mercer Row and the Cornmarket.

These new seating units were met with criticism by local people on social media, with some comments calling the parklets an “eyesore”, “repulsive” and “a waste of money”, while others considered that sitting on a busy road was a “health risk”.

There were some positive responses to the seating units, with one resident saying that they were nice, but would look better on Mablethorpe seafront, while others thought that the parklets would work better in other areas of town such as the Cornmarket or market place.

The county council also recently reversed a decision to remove two disabled parking bays on Louth High Street.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard