Pavements around Elizabeth Road have been marked up for work this week by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) including work to cut back residents’ overgrown bushes/plants and lawns whilst the pavement on Thameside which is walked by thousands of residents and visitors each year has still not been fixed 18 months after a serious accident when Philipp Warner’s wheelchair caught on the Thameside path, tipping himself and his carer into the river.
Martin Crabtree, of Oxfordshire County Council, responded in November 2017 by saying, “We are aware of the issues and we have been in discussion with the town council and local county councillor. We have been investigating the best way of fixing the problems bearing in mind that this is a difficult location to work on as it is so close to the water and funding would need to be found for the work. At present we are working on finding the best option and the costs and will be speaking again with the town council and local county councillor when we have that.”
Our Editor, Michaela Clarke questioned OCC priorities and wasting tax payers money at the Henley Town Full Council meeting this week. County Councillor, Stefan Gawrysiak replied by saying that OCC are now looking at putting together a revised quote for the Thameside work including new bollards after quoting £160K 2 years ago which they said would need scaffolding in the river and a frogman on standby! Councillor Will Hamilton also asked about the Thameside pavement and the urgent need of the re-painting of white lines around the town including the central line on Henley bridge.
Stefan said, “Not only have I started to get the roads around Henley fixed, but I have received many emails from elderly residents about the pavements in the town and these are my priority too now after 6/7 years of Henley being neglected.”
There are areas of the pavement on Elizabeth Road where roots of the large trees are breaking through the pavement (see photo below) that urgently need fixing professionally. Residents who allow their hedges/bushes to encroach over the pavement should surely be asked by OCC to cut them back?
We spoke to one of the OCC contractors this week who said, “We used to send notices out to residents but this didn’t make any difference and we have a legal right to keep the footpaths clear.”
Come on Henley residents, let’s not see this happen anywhere else in town. Please take pride in your garden and road and keep the pavements clear.