Henley’s pavement clutter

Henley-on-Thames, on the Thames Path National Trail and at the south-east corner of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, should be a walker-friendly hub.  Indeed it ought to aspire to be a Walkers Are Welcome Town.

But the clutter on its pavements is an impediment to walkers and people with push-chairs or in wheelchairs.

Clutter on the corner of Duke Street and Friday Street

Clutter on the corner of Duke Street and Friday Street

Now Costa coffee is appealing against South Oxfordshire District Council’s refusal of planning permission for chairs and tables outside the café, in busy Duke Street.  If these are allowed, pedestrians will again be shoved out of the way.

The pavement where Costa want to put tables and chairs

The pavement where Costa want to put tables and chairs

Outdoor seating is fine in a plaza where there is space for sitting and walking.  It is not fine on the public highway

Outdoor seating at Café Rouge at the bottom of Hart Street

Outdoor seating at Café Rouge on the pavement at the bottom of Hart Street

Nor does the mass of advertising look very nice in an old market town.  Many businesses have an A-board on the pavement.

web clutter 2

Henley Town Council should get a grip and say no to the encroachment on the public highway, because it looks a mess and it gets in the way of pedestrians.

web clutter 1Then Henley might stand a chance of being seen as a town which welcomes walkers.

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in AONB, Chilterns, National trail, Walkers Are Welcome Towns, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Henley’s pavement clutter

  1. Geoff Mullett says:

    We have the same problem here in Louth. The District Council put a stop to it a year ago, but one by one, the boards have reappeared

  2. Sandra Rooney says:

    Wonder where they would stand legally if someone actually walked into one of these boards and hurt themselves. Surely the local authority has a duty of care to allow pedestrians especially the elderly, people with prams, the disabled etc to move safely on the pavement?

  3. Hugh says:

    Time was when highway authorities would enforce assiduously against A-boards sited in the highway, these being obstructions. No longer: no resources.

    However, even if a restaurant is granted planning permission (at district level) for tables and chairs in the highway, it will still need a licence from the highway authority (at county level). Planning permission does not confer authority to obstruct the highway.

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