Barnet Council has been accused of “misleading the public” on its pavement improvement scheme by critical Labour councillors.

The Conservative-controlled council is one year into a five-year project to improve pavements which will see £50 million spent on works to resurface footways in Barnet.

Labour opposition called for residents to be given a choice between asphalt and paving slabs for pavement resurfacing after complaints over new pavement treatments using asphalt in the borough.

Residents in Granville Road, Finchley, have submitted a petition opposing the use of asphalt to regenerate their pavements will be discussed at the Finchley & Golders Green area committee tonight (October 26).

A key concern on the petition is how asphalt paving has a tendency to chip away under footfall and when cars drive over the surfaces.

READ MORE: Abbots Gardens, East Finchley one of many roads in Barnet blighted by sub-standard asphalt work chipping away easily

The petition stated residents are given only two weeks’ notice of pavement works and the contact number given is not answered while messages left have not been returned by the council.

Addressing many residents’ complaints, Labour councillors have accused the council of misleading the public as correspondence and news releases relating to the improvements refer to paving or pavement slabs rather than asphalt.

Cllr Alan Schneiderman, of Woodhouse ward, said: “The decision to use asphalt rather than paving stones has been imposed without residents being consulted.

“Residents have also been misled by being sent letters saying that paving will be laid in their road when in fact they have no choice but asphalt.

“We need to do all we can to minimise trips and falls and repair footways, but I want to see residents given a choice between using paving stones or tarmac for their road.”

88 pavements have been worked on since the improvement project began last year and, according to council figures, 91 per cent of people surveyed agreed the work was an improvement.

However, the state of the roads and pavements was the second highest concern for residents in to the council’s latest residents’ perception survey, with 27 per cent of residents rating the state of Barnet pavements highly.

READ MORE: Barnet Council to spend £8 million fixing cracked pavements this year alone

According to Cllr Dean Cohen, Conservative for Golders Green, asphalt is being used in “appropriate areas” because it is “safer, more durable and cheaper to maintain over their life”.

Cllr Cohen, who chairs the environment committee, said: “We know that the quality of pavements is a top priority for residents which is why we are investing £8m this year alone on footways.

“Asphalt surfaces enable a greater number of roads to benefit from the programme of investment – this was a committee decision which Labour members did not oppose.

“The council will continue to engage with residents as clearly as possible ahead of work taking place.

“However, Labour’s call for a consultation in each individual road would simply mean there would be no money left for any actual work.”

The Finchley and Golders Green area committee is at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley at 7pm tonight following the residents forum at 6.30pm.