The footpath on Thameside was finally resurfaced last week after the Herald has campaigned for this to be done since Philipp Warner’s traumatic accident in October 2017 when his wheelchair got stuck in one of the deep ruts and he and his carer fell into the river.
Philipp who has Parkinson’s was visiting Henley with his wife, her father and carer for a Sunday walk when the accident happened and luckily he only sustained a fracture to his fibula. The outcome could have been very different if it wasn’t for Angela and Clint Botha from Henley who rescued Philipp and his carer from the river. There have also been other accidents on this well-walked stretch of pavement over the last few years.
In February this year, the first part of the renovation started with 27 new bollards fitted and 53 existing ones repainted in the Henley Town Council’s green livery. The new bollards have stopped people parking on the pavement which was a regular occurrence and meant that walkers had to go out into the road to get past, particularly those with pushchairs or wheelchairs. The new bollards were paid for by Henley Town Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) given to the Council by housing developers and the resurfacing has been paid for by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) who are responsible for highways.
County Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said, “I’m really pleased that the Thames path has been done and very quickly last week. Yes it has been shocking for a while and it has taken a while but that’s because it is an expensive job.”
Town Councillor, Will Hamilton was also pleased to see the resurfacing finally complete. He said, “It’s great to see the jewel of our town which is walked on by thousands of visitors each year back to how it should be ready for the summer holidays. I’ve been chasing Leader of OCC, Ian Hudspeth for many years about doing this. ”