BROMLEY Council is being urged to make sure it learns from the Orpington ‘shambles’ as it bids for money from Transport for London to improve Beckenham High Street.

This message comes from readers who say the £2.2m which was spent on Orpington High Street improvement works was a ‘painful and expensive mistake’.

It was reopened with great fanfare by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson in July 2010 but this summer part of the block paving had to be taken up and relaid.

And tarmac has been used to patch up some gaps in the brickwork.

This Is Local London: Tarmac has been used to patch up some gaps in the brickwork

Concerned pensioner Barry Redbourn, 72, said: “There are 18 tarmac patches in the crossing by Smiths.

“When I go over the surface on my bike it is dreadful.

“I just think that all this money has been spent unwisely.”

Mr Redbourn, of Oakfield Road, Orpington, added: “Bricks cannot withstand the heavy traffic.

“They should take up the bricks and tarmac it and they should keep Beckenham High Street as tarmac because bricks cannot withstand the heavy traffic.”

And commenting on the News Shopper website Invicta58 said: “I would strongly advise David Wood and Peter Morgan to have a look at Orpington to see the realities and workmanship of these expensive vanity projects.

“Ask if it will last 2 years.

“Ask if it falls apart in less than 2 years it just gets bodged up.

“Ask if will be the same quality, or better, than Orpington.

“Learn from the painful and expensive mistakes made there.”

And Slonik commented: “Yep - shocking isn't the word for the 'work' which was done in Orpington.

“Before wasting any more taxpayers' money in Beckenham, Bromley Council (and TfL) will hopefully ensure that the contractors used are actually up to the job.”

A Bromley Council spokesman said: "We are working hard with the contractors to ensure the issues in the Orpington scheme are fixed at no cost to the council and to our full satisfaction.

"Trials for long term solutions to the problems are currently being completed and will be implemented as soon as we have satisfactory feedback.

"We are anticipating the completion of the works early in the New Year with as little disruption as possible to businesses, shoppers and residents.

"We routinely review every project worked on and with complex schemes such as the Orpington Public Realm Scheme we aim to ensure that problems that inevitably arise from time to time are acted on quickly and efficiently.”

How do you think the Orpington High Street works should be fixed? Have your say below.