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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Cut pollution, not speed
Sir, — I agree with Thames Valley Police and object to the proposed new 20mph speed limit in Henley town centre (Standard, September 28).
It is a pointless waste of £18,000 of taxpayers’ money, which will actually increase pollution.
The amount of pollution a vehicle causes is not really a result of its speed but is caused by the amount of time the vehicle engine is running while in town. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph will increase pollution as the engine will be running for longer.
A much better solution to the pollution problem would be to reduce the amount of time a vehicle spends with the engine running while in town.
This could be easily achieved at no capital cost by retiming and sequencing the traffic lights as well as keeping the speed limits at 30mph.
The traffic could be held at the relevant traffic lights at the entrances to the town centre, specifically Henley Bridge and the Station Road/Reading Road junction.
Then the traffic lights at the junction of Friday Street, Greys Road and Reading Road and in the market place could be sequenced to allow vehicles to pass through town as quickly as possible without having to stop at the lights.
Or turn these lights into mini roundabouts, with pelican crossings, so that the traffic only has to slow down a little.
This is the best way to tackle pollution, not by further slowing down the traffic and creating more pollution.
Finally, the reduced speed limits proposed for Gravel Hill and Fair Mile will simply become easy speed traps for the police to issue fines as it is difficult for drivers coming down hill to slow down in time.
No pollution will be prevented as the vehicles are braking.
I would encourage councillors to reconsider these new speed limits and instead seriously consider these alternative proposals. — Yours faithfully,
Chris de Hoedt B.Sc. C.Eng. M.I.Mech.E
Fair Mile, Henley
Get rid of parking too
Sir, — It is good news about the 20mph speed limit for Henley town centre but it is not enough.
Let’s get rid of the parking in Bell Street, Duke Street and Market Place.
This would stop cars and vans pumping noxious fumes at the public and holding up traffic when they are parking.
Make unloading times after 5pm, which would help keep traffic moving.
Come on, town councillors, let’s go for it. — Yours faithfully,
Swiss Farm, Henley
More road safety ideas
Sir, — As a town centre resident, I vote yes for the cut in the speed limit. At last, traffic-calming measures with teeth. Also, while you’re setting up the signs for the new 20mph limit, please do the following before someone is knocked down by a speeding driver from outside Henley town centre (people who do not live there seem to have no concept that it is also a residential area):
1. Make the rat-run of Queen Street one-way from Station Road to Friday Street.
2. Make Friday Street one-way from the Greys Road junction all the way down to River Terrace.
3. Make River Terrace one-way up to the Station Road junction with Meadow Road.
4. Install speed bumps along the length of Queen Street.
5. Install speed bumps all the way along Friday Street to River Terrace. — Yours faithfully,
Station Road, Henley
Limit must be enforced
Sir, — Goring has had a 20mph speed limit for years.
I don’t think that a single speedster has been caught.
Before Henley spends the £18,000 ask how the limit will be enforced. Cameras have to be installed as well. — Yours faithfully,
Boris’s bad behaviour
Sir, — Whether the comment attributed to John Howell in the national press this week was 100 per cent accurate or not, I write to add my wholehearted support to his sentiments towards Boris Johnson.
He can indeed “depart very rapidly” out of British politics for good!
As far as I, and many other committed Tory voters who have previously supported Boris, when he was an MP here and subsequently, are concerned, his behaviour since the Brexit referendum has been unconscionable.
Now I view him as nothing more than a self-serving egomaniac and a coward.
His duty was surely to step up and lead the country after the leave vote in the 2016 referendum.
But what did he (and Michael Gove and others) do?
First of all, they were completely surprised that they had won and had no real idea what to actually do next. Then they started to make calculations about their own political careers, that’s what.
Boris realised that there was going to be a hell of a battle ahead within a Tory party that was split with the rest of the country and the EU.
I would echo our current MP, for whom my respect is growing rapidly. He may not be a showman and a celebrity, but at least he has some integrity,
So, yes, Mr Johnson, please do just clear off and let others get on with the job. — Yours faithfully,
Walton Avenue, Henley
Why close footpath?
Sir, — On Tuesday afternoon last week I went, with my Labrador, to take one of my regular and favourite walks. I refer to the public footpath from Regatta Meadow across the Wilminster Estate in the direction of Remenham/Aston.
I was shocked to discover that the small gate had been screwed up and further barred with wood.
This effectively closes the footpath to any walker, except those able-bodied enough to use the small stile and dogs as the hedgerow left and right is fenced so a dog cannot pass.
Having looked up the definition of a public footpath, I understand that this includes the public having a “legally protected right to travel on foot with a dog or dogs so long as they are under control or on a lead”.
This footpath is also part of the Chiltern Way and this barring of the entrance effectively cuts off a significant section, although the Wilminster Estate owners might argue that it has not been closed as the small stile remains.
However, if you are not able-bodied enough and therefore unable to climb the stile that excludes a significant number of people. My husband is one of them.
Surely this cannot be either right or legal and I would urge the many equally concerned walkers and runners to make the appropriate authorities aware of this.
I have in mind the Ramblers, the Chiltern Society and Wokingham District Council.
If one of the reasons of the Wilminster Estate for this action is to better enclose their land might I suggest they provide a much better gateway to achieve this but also to keep this pathway open? — Yours faithfully,
Friday Street, Henley
Where are the benches?
Sir, — Walking into Henley along Reading Road last Friday, I was surprised to find that both of the benches outside the stonemasons had been removed.
I distinctly remember taking a break there on the Wednesday, so I assumed that they were being revarnished or some such.
I now understand that they have been removed following a complaint from a resident in the cottages opposite.
Apparently — get this — people were sitting down and talking!
Well, I for one am guilty as charged. How mean can you get?
May I request that these benches be reinstated immediately as they provide a welcome resting place for both the infirm (in my case, a recently broken ankle) and the elderly (I’m getting there)?
They were the only benches on that side of Reading Road between Market Place and the Harpsden Road junction. It’s a long walk. — Yours faithfully,
Harpsden Road, Henley
Thanks for helping me
Sir, — On Thursday last week I tripped and fell heavily, face down, at the bottom of Greys Road, Henley.
I was badly shaken: my face was bruised and cut and I had a massive nosebleed.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the people who so quickly came to support me.
Three young students from Gillotts School were willing to help and offered use of a mobile phone, a man from one of the shops across the road brought masses of serviettes to cope with the bleeding and a chair for me to sit on which was so welcome and passers-by offered help and condolences.
Particular thanks must go to a lovely woman who was passing and to the car driver who stopped (and dealt with subsequent traffic problems). Both stayed with me and supported me wonderfully for the 40 minutes or so that it took for an ambulance to arrive.
I don’t know how I could have coped without them — I was too dazed to get names, so I do hope they see this.
Just to reassure them, staff at Townlands Memorial Hospital cleaned and patched me up and, apart from a spectacularly bruised face, I’m well recovered. Truly grateful thanks again. — Yours faithfully,
Music fit for heroes
Sir, — I would like to let your readers know about a very special event planned for our community on November 10, the eve of remembrance Sunday, which marks when the Armistice was signed with Germany and the guns fell silent 100 years ago.
Aliquando wanted to be part of the national commemoration to remember the fallen but also to thank them and those who came home to help rebuild the country we have today.
With this in mind, we approached the Henley and Peppard branch of the Royal British Legion and together we are committed to marking the centenary of the end of the Great War with a concert of inspiring music and verse in aid of the Poppy Appeal.
In order to make this an exceptional event, we have chosen music by Bruckner, Gounod, Elgar and Hawes and verse by Christina Rosetti, Rupert Brooke, Rudyard Kipling, John Gillespie Magee and others.
We have signed up an orchestra, soloists and readers to do justice to the occasion.
There will be a ceremonial element to the second half of the concert with the procession of the standards before it closes with the Exhortation, the Last Post and the Kohima Epitaph. I would urge your readers to book early and join us for this commemorative event. Tickets are available from www.aliquando.co.uk or www.rbl-henley.org or call (01491) 578238. — Yours faithfully,
Aliquando Chamber Choir
Sir, — Since the days when Henley Boys’ Football Club was run by the late chairman Ken Downing, a dedicated true gentleman, it has been great to witness the monumental rise of this unique club.
Having spent many hours on the touchline in all weathers supporting firstly my son and latterly my grandsons, the club has gone from strength to strength, providing pleasure and opportunity for the youth of Henley.
It’s now pleasing to read the Henley Town FC weekly reports and recognising the names of local lads, many being former Henley Boys players.
The cohesion between both clubs is paramount to this successful union.
The recent award given to Trevor Howell (well done, sir) is testament to the loyalty, friendship, support and many hours of hard graft given by countless individuals to enable both clubs to continue to flourish and provide Henley with football teams to be proud of.
Well done to all. — Yours faithfully,
Periam Close, Henley
Something fishy here...
Sir, — For the last couple of months I have been tasked with the shopping.
On Tuesday last week, having used the new system (where “every little helps”) to scan every item and having paid, I set off a security alarm and in turn was set upon by two comely ladies fishing around in my shopping bags.
“Do you have anything with a security tag?”
“No,” I replied, believing that to be the case.
However, it appears that what is known in the trade as high-end fish, in this case a £5.80 piece of my weekly smoked haddock, now carries a security tag on the label that the weighing machine prints out!
This has never happened before and I am still trying to figure out how I was supposed to know. — Yours faithfully,
Crowsley Road, Lower Shiplake
08 October 2018
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