County Councillor Puts Suggestion Forward for One Way Pedestrian System on Bridge

Sarah Morbey has suggested that now that more people are out walking, particularly along the river, that a one way pedestrian system should be put in place on Henley bridge pavements so that people can keep to the 2m social distance.

Sarah posted “Is it worth considering a one-way pedestrian traffic system over the bridge to give people space to pass without getting squashed by cars?” on the Henley Mutual Aid Covid-19 Facebook group page this week, with many people commenting what a good idea it would be.

Angela P said, “I have a real issue with runners who simply do not stop to let walkers pass by them safely, always expecting the walker to stop and let them keep on running. This is especially annoying on footpaths where it can be quite narrow for passing safely. We dog walkers would appreciate some thoughtfulness.”

Henley Mutual Aid volunteers offered to help with the idea but it was agreed signs would be needed.

County Councillor, Stefan Gawrysiak has put this suggestion to Oxfordshire County Council who are responsible for the highways.  He said, “It’s a good suggestion and would need four signs.  I’ve been told that the OCC Officers are currently doing a big review of possible measures and traffic regulations in the south of the County that would help whilst there are Covid-19 restrictions in place.  There is no decision yet but will advise as soon as I get one.”

  1. Neil Gunnell says:

    Why only on the bridge? If we all did what we do in London Underground passages and Kept To The Left, we might get places slower, but at least we’d do it in procession. This applies to almost any road with pavements and would work very well in Bell Street, Duke Street, Market Place, Hart Street and the Reading Road. Probably Riverside as well.

    It’s a much bigger problem than just on the bridge.

  2. Alan Jones says:

    A one-way system for pedestrians is, of course, totally impracticable. What has needed to be done ever since traffic lights were introduced for the bridge, is to STOP traffic actually sitting on the bridge. All it needs is a set of lights on each side. The bridge could then become one traffic lane only with both pavements then widened to accommodate pedestrians easily passing each other. It really is so very simple a solution, which also has the benefit of saving the bridge carrying the weight of two rows of traffic at most times. Solved!!

  3. H Fraser says:

    As an alternative suggestion, why not make Henley bridge more cycle and walker and runner friendly by making it single track for vehicles? Move the lights for coming into Henley to the other side of the bridge. And install wider footpaths.

  4. L Loumont says:

    I would like to make two suggestions as I was recently struck by the side of a lorry while I was walking on the pavement on the corner of the bridge closest to the Red Lion – the lorry was turning left onto the bridge in order to leave the town.
    1. Make the bridge single track for vehicles as suggested here, with its various advantages such as the reduction of standing traffic on the bridge, increasing safety for pedestrians and cycles and the possibility of improving the traffic light timing at certain times of the day – easing congestion down White Hill, for example.
    2. Construct a pedestrian and cycle bridge alongside or near the old bridge. Such a bridge would be a lot cheaper to build than a road bridge for cars and lorries. An architect could design something really beautiful and people would love to walk and cycle over it in safety over the river.


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