Thursday, 03 December 2020

No one knows we’re here, claims Howe Hill resident

A MAN has launched a campaign to give his road an “identity”.

A MAN has launched a campaign to give his road an “identity”.

Peter Richardson, who lives on the Howe Hill stretch of the B481, claims it is neglected as it is more than two miles from Watlington and is not officially recognised like places such as Park Corner and Greenfield.

He fears that he about 30 neighbouring households could miss out on infrastructure improvements, including faster broadband.

A 40mph speed limit was recently introduced on Howe Hill following a campaign by Mr Richardson and he says he was told this could have happened earlier if the area had a distinct identity.

Mr Richardson, 68, said: “You just think to yourself ‘are we not getting what other people are getting?’ I think we are given the same treatment as a country lane when we live on the B481, a main road, which doesn’t seem fair.

“At the moment, I am just a voice on my own but I hope other residents will join me. I can’t see why they wouldn’t if they thought about the benefits, especially with regard to things like broadband. A lot of people run businesses from home.

“I am also hoping that the parish council will take this up.

“Oxfordshire County Council has recognised the area in that a speed limit has been introduced and I think that could be seen as a first step.

“It gives me confidence that I can get somewhere because it’s for the benefit of everybody.”

Mr Richardson said the speed of traffic had not decreased significantly since the limit was introduced and he hopes road roundels will now be added.

He believes a “Howe Hill” sign would make drivers more aware that there are houses in the area. “What they have produced is extremely discreet and a lot of people are saying they have not even noticed them,” said Mr Richardson. “If we had a sign it would make it absolutely clear where the settlement starts and ends.

“Often when I say I live in Howe Hill people ask ‘where is that?’ because it is not on the map and delivery men and other visitors do not know where they are going.”

Mr Richardson and his wife Susan moved to the area three years ago. “We love it around here and we wouldn’t do anything to change it but we want to be able to enjoy modern day life and not be left behind,” he said.

Ian Hill, chairman of Watlington Parish Council, said the council would consider offering its support to the Howe Hill campaign.

“We are very interested in doing all we can to make people feel included,” said.

A county council spokesman said: “Following changes to the speed restrictions, an assessment took place to ascertain where signs to indicate this should be placed.

“The current signs meet the legal requirements and are considered to be sufficient. There are no plans to add further signs.”

* Watlington Parish Council is to hold a meeting at the Fox and Hounds in Christmas Common on September 30 in a bid to make parishioners outside the town feel connected.

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