Stretches of Whitby’s historic pavements are being painstakingly re-laid by hand after being dug up for gas works.
It is thought that work to repair and replace gas mains will be finished in time for the Easter holidays and onset of the busy tourism period following disruption in Whitby and the surrounding villages.
Pedestrians in the narrow alleyways of Grape Lane and Sandgate have had to dodge barriers and holes in the floor over the last few weeks and parking spaces in Church Street are temporarily out of bounds.
In Robin Hood’s Bay the winding cobbled streets and historic short cuts have also been brought into the 21st century as the ageing pipework has been replaced.
Last month businesses in Ruswarp complained that they had lost business because the high street was closed during half term because of the works.
A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks that have been carrying out the work said: “Particular consideration has been given to the York stone paving slabs which have been carefully removed to allow the excavation work to take place.
“We have consulted with English Heritage and appointed a specialist team of local craftsmen to relay the York stone flags to ensure that they are restored to their original state.
“Reinstatement has already begun in the area and a number of accolades relating to the quality of the work have been received from customers who have expressed delight at the way the stones have been re-laid.”
They added that in Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay over a kilometre of old fashioned metal pipes have so far been replaced with more durable plastic.
Lynne Sharp, Construction Services Support Manager at Northern Gas Networks added: “We are very aware of the impact that our essential work can have, particularly in smaller communities such as Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay.
“To help minimise the level of disruption caused we scheduled both of these projects to take place during the quieter winter months and we’re on target to finish the work before the busy tourist period begins in mid April.
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout this work.”