Dogs Head Street‚ Ipswich project


Ipswich Borough Council




Porphyry Setts‚ Granite Setts & Kerb and Yorkstone Paving


It is wonderful to see a council take hold of an unkempt and down-at-heel space and sensitively bring it back to life through the renewal of the streetscape and straightaway‚ as is the norm‚ the adjoining building owners have made tremendous improvements even before the scheme is finished.

Dogs Head Street is busy with more than 1000 standard axles (equivalent to 300+ buses) per day‚ mostly because of it being the way into the bus station. The bus stop there has CED’s bus stop kerb for easy disabled access‚ the taxi rank has been paved with porphyry cubes laid in arcs‚ one of the best ways to hide the result of oil drips and the roundabout has had some very special treatment.

Using BS 7533 part 10 as the design guide‚ the sawn-sided setts are 180mm deep and the surrounding granite channels are the same depth. All is set on concrete with Steintec mortars and‚ most importantly‚ the edge detail has been correctly done with the setts and channel being held within a concrete dish. This will provide the lateral support to the setts‚ which tarmac cannot do. When laying stone‚ one expects it to be in place for many‚ many years and attention to detail will ensure this happens. The central circle itself is 2.4 metres across‚ made in four quadrants. It is 25mm above the surrounding setts‚ with the same 180mm below the surface. The setts themselves have been tapered to keep the joints consistent‚ each row’s taper being calculated individually. The net result is really tidy and economic too as everything fitted without being cut on site‚ the only exceptions to this being the services access points. Here the frames were surrounded with a single row of whole setts with the cutting to fit being accomplished outside that row‚ so arriving at both a neater and stronger result. Larger units were provided for this cutting so that small cut pieces could be avoided. Where the circular flush kerbs met adjoining kerbs‚ specials were designed for the same reason.

It was especially rewarding for us to see that all the detail work was correctly installed with care and attention by the contractors. In particular‚ the work produced some interesting challenges for the paving sub-contractors but they put their hearts into it and can be very proud of what they have achieved.

Some details cannot be seen at all such as the 150mm deep Yorkstone flags laid where the beer barrels are delivered but such is the difference that the work has made to the locality that the deliverymen then took special care to unload their barrels on the setts to avoid damaging the flags. It is visible‚ but perhaps not immediately obvious‚ that SuperCEDEC has been used in the tree pits. It is free-draining‚ yet not readily kicked out over the pavement and it can accommodate growth to the trunk and movement of the roots.

The necessary granite tactile paving has been cleverly incorporated into the design so it fulfils its purpose without impacting terribly in a visual way and‚ of course‚ granite tactile paving is so much more long-lasting it will save money in the longer term.

At the time of taking these photos‚ the road surface had not been completed but‚ when it is‚ pink-grey granite chippings with a clear bituminous coat will be rolled into the wearing course‚ effectively leavening the blackness of the tarmac.

It is such a pleasure to see a scheme like this come to fruition‚ the more so as it is not a headline grabbing achievement but something of value to the local community.


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