Thursday, 19 July 2018

Call for end to roadside car ‘scrapyard’

CARS parked along a busy Henley road are blocking verges and footpaths and making it dangerous for drivers,

CARS parked along a busy Henley road are blocking verges and footpaths and making it dangerous for drivers, it has been claimed.

David Parry has described the verge outside the bungalows in Greys Road as a “scrapyard” of cars, while Jacqueline Shuttleworth claims parked vehicles were narrowing the width of the road, causing “absolute chaos”.

Both have written to Henley Town Council’s traffic advisory committee and the issues raised were discussed at a meeting on Tuesday last week.

Mr Parry, who lives in Greys Road, said: “Henley has a scrapyard where items can be dumped for free with impunity [on] the verge outside the bungalows below the scout hut.

“Vehicles have been abandoned on the highway, ie, the verge and footways (pavements), for years in one case. The authorities — including our town council — turn a blind eye to the squalor this causes.

“I have spent many hours over the past two years trying to get Oxfordshire’s public non-services to do something about this situation, to no avail. I finally referred this to the local government ombudsman without result.

“And yet there is a very simple solution to this problem, which lies in the hands of our council.

“All they have to do is to ask Oxfordshire County Council to deal with it. However, one of our mayors recently dismissed this proposal.

“The position of councillors in both Henley and elsewhere may be surmised. Thames Valley Police can also prosecute the dumping of vehicles on the verge. They did so on Mayfair in Reading about a year ago but they will not do so in Henley.”

He added: “The residents of Fair Mile are to be congratulated on whatever they do to get their verges and paths kept so pristine. Perhaps they could advise us. How, for example, do they prevent travellers pulling on to their verges during the Regatta?”

Jacqueline Shuttleworth, of neighbouring Albert Road, said: “This part of Greys Road has cars parked along one side, which reduces the width of the road considerably.

“As a result, school buses, trucks and other wide vehicles really struggle to get through, especially if there is oncoming traffic. I walk to work along this road every day and have witnessed multiple incidents which concern me deeply.

“The parked cars on this specific part of the road are causing absolute chaos, cars are often forced to reverse back a fair distance if they meet a bus or truck coming the opposite way. The proximity of The Henley College means that this road can become extremely busy with school buses, cars etc.

“I’ve also witnessed vehicles having to mount the path and actually drive on the path in order to squeeze past an oncoming vehicle.

“As a pedestrian, I have had several scares when cars have passed me on the actual path, which is extremely dangerous.

“The fact that most of the parked cars on this specific part of the road have badly damaged wing mirrors and scratches to their paintwork proves that it’s not really ideal for them to park there. I appreciate parking in Henley is very scarce. I have problems getting my car parked on Albert Road. But there must be a better solution for Greys Road.”

She suggested creating more parking by removing some of the grass verges.

Ms Shuttleworth said: “There are wide, grassed areas between the road and the path on one side that surely could be utilised for parking. Or just have double yellow lines on this specific part of the road to provide a safe and less risky route up the hill.”

Councillor Will Hamilton, who lives in Greys Road, said: “Perhaps there there is a possibility of taking out a piece of land that would allow parking there and there would be no need for buses to mount the pavement. It is not an easy job because there are telephone poles down there.”

He suggested contacting Keith Stenning, Oxfordshire County Council’s area steward. Councillor Simon Smith said he believed the land between the bungalows and the road probably still belonged to South Oxfordshire District Council.

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