Have Your Say – Call to Campaign Against Air Quality

This is a call for action. An SODC consultation on Air Quality is planned for Saturday 29th October in Henley Town Hall. We need to be there in numbers to influence the outcomes. Last time only 1 or 2 turned up, now we must have at least 50 so that means you must make every effort to attend. Our campaign is focusing on particulates that are seriously hurting our health, especially that of children. Studies show children aged 8 can have lost 20% of their lung capacity and their academic attainment is noticeably damaged. The number of inhalers by young children in town appears to be growing rapidly.We have initiated particulate readings with a hand held device and a picture is emerging that the air quality problem is over a wider area than the town centre and stretches from Northfield End out along the Reading Road and all around the Town Hall, in fact most places where there is queuing traffic.

In terms of what to say at the consultation, our considered view is that we want Henley to become a Low Emission Zone. This umbrella allows for so many other initiatives to be initiated such as Living Walls, Electric Car points, Car idling elimination, Cleaner buses, Higher parking charges for Diesel vehicles, Priority to Walkers and Cyclists, 20 mph speed limits, and a Through HGV ban. A collective response will attract more attention politically and this is a major aim. We are approaching 10 years since the first Air Quality Action Plan was published and it is about time we had some actions implemented.

In the meantime the Henley-in-Transition/ECO Henley team have been active on your behalf. We managed to get the attention of BBC South Oxford and the attached clip is the item that was shown. It describes the plan to install a Living Wall at Longlands House by St Mary’s Church thanks to Clive Hemsley with plants that absorb the particulates well. A marvellous iniative and with your support we will have more.

So please support us and come along on October 29th 10am to 2pm and persuade others to come as well

David Dickie, Clean Air for Henley campaigner

2 comments
  1. Mark says:

    It seems to me that people want their cake and eat it… yes pollution is a problem and in a vibrant town such as Henley that has good restaurants, festivals, shops and markets, people will want to visit and spend their money, it’s good for the community and prosperity of all concerned.
    For this to happen in our modern day world of cars and busses those people need to travel to do so and if you end up restricting the means for them to do so the town will die a slow death, even if you try to build a park & ride system not everyone will use it and the issue still remains. Only a very small percentage of people drive Hybrid or all electric cars due to the price and until they are more affordable it’s about making what’s available to the current climate.
    Getting the ‘non-visitors’ or just the passing traffic through the town is obviously the safest solution to pollution and many times i myself have complained about the traffic queued on Whitehill at many times of the day, why is this so? to phase the traffic lights on the bridge and at other points in the town would allow this traffic to pass through quickly and with much less pollution. Maybe make it a toll bridge to pay for polution measures, but doing so will slow the traffic. It falls on deaf ears and myself and other people have the same view that maybe the people responsible for making these simple changes aren’t qualified or don’t want the responsibility of doing so. So one needs to decide how to make provisions for money spending visitors and getting everyone else through the town quickly, don’t alienate them because of what they drive, make them welcome with open arms.

    Reply
    • Keith Pratt says:

      Remove all traffic lights would be a major move forward. By-pass would certainly work. Most people avoid Henley as a matter of course, due in the main to the perpetual traffic delays. Definitely a catch 22 situation that the town is in. It has changed so much for the worse within living memory.

      Reply

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