COUNTY Councillor for Andover north, Tim Rolt, says he will be keeping watch on the work planned in the town centre to ensure the area’s heritage is preserved.

More than £500,000 is being spent in the Upper High Street and two adjacent roads.

Cllr Rolt says he doesn’t want past mistakes repeated and will look out for the historic feel of the area to try to ensure that the upgrade has no negative knockon effects.

He said: “I came to the area in 1982 and in many ways I’m glad I wasn’t here in the 1960s to witness the destruction of so much of the town. At one point they were even going to destroy The Angel but other pubs were lost, so I will be keeping a close eye on the work.”

He is a fan of the antique manhole covers in the area, saying: “They are from Victorian times and were made by the famous firm T Crapper and Co.”

He has been encouraging the county council to improve the surface, drainage and appearance of the lower High Street but believes any solutions will take a long time to come.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, says people should start to notice the changes early next year.

He said: “We are planning to make improvements for people using Chantry Street, High Street and Newbury Street to address current issues of narrow pavements, lack of crossing points for pedestrians and the lack of a convenient east to west route for cyclists at the northern edge of Andover town centre.

“Work should start in February 2015. The improvements will involve narrowing the carriageway through some sections to encourage slower vehicle speeds, increasing the width of the footway, improving the existing pedestrian crossing points, and installing new crossing points.

“Also sections of the carriageway will be resurfaced to ensure a consistent appearance and to provide longer term carriageway strength and life.”