Over the course of the last few years, several proposals to improve pedestrian movement and safety have been considered by the Henley Town Council (HTC).
At the last Henley Town Council Planning meeting members recommended that Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) who are responsible for the Henley highways carry out formal consultations on four proposals:
- A Zebra Crossing on Gravel Hill
- A Pinch Point on Gravel Hill
- A Zebra Crossing on Greys Road (opposite Takhar Stores shop)
- A Signal Crossing on Marlow Road near Swiss Farm
Radar speed surveys and pedestrian and vehicle surveys will be carried out plus a formal public consultation.
Decisions on whether to carry out the works will be made at a later stage, subject to consultation and funding. At HTC Finance Committee on 24 July 2018, it was resolved to allocate
£5000 per annum to the Planning Committee for Transport related projects from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds to cover surveys and consultations.
A HTC consultation was previously carried out in March 2017 for three traffic calming options on Gravel Hill but failed to progress after West Street residents who weren’t initially consulted objected saying “the scheme would have resulted in both West Street and Hop Gardens becoming ‘rat runs’ for cars avoiding the congestion on Gravel Hill.”
At the Planning Meeting a number of Gravel Hill and West Street residents aired their views on proposals for Gravel Hill:
Mr Waring was not in favour of the proposed pinch point on Gravel Hill and thought that the 20mph speed limit should be introduced first. The appearance of Gravel Hill had hardly
changed over the previous 100 years and he volunteered to take part in a community speedwatch programme.
Ms Kiddy was concerned about drivers diverting from speeding on Gravel Hill to speeding on West Street if a pinch point was installed. West Street had a home for disabled young
adults at the top, who travel down West Street in their wheelchairs on the road as the pavement is too uneven and not wide enough. Ms Kiddy was in favour of a zebra crossing on Gravel Hill and observed that traffic surveys should be carried out at peak times.
Ms Craig supported the idea of slowing down traffic and widening the pavement, but wasn’t sure that a pinch point was the best solution. A car had previously driven into her house and a
bus had hit a drainpipe.
A campaign by Sacred Heart School parents was started in 2014 for a zebra crossing on Greys Road – let’s hope that after four years progress is finally made on this now.