The Henley Standard of 8 December included an article in which Henley-on-Thames town councillor David Nimmo Smith advocates switching off the town-centre traffic lights and letting vehicles flow freely. He believes that this would force drivers to be more considerate and filter around each other naturally. The article suggests this should be done to ‘see if congestion improves‘—but I think it means reduces.
As I wrote in a letter published on 15 December: It is commendable that the councillor wants to reduce congestion, but what about pedestrians? Let’s have a scheme which favours people on foot in the town, so that there is more time for crossing the roads, more frequently. Currently one can hang around at the central crossroads for several minutes waiting for a green man.
And the pavements are too cluttered with advertisement boards, and tables and chairs from cafés—a hazard for pedestrians and especially those with visual impairment.
These obstructions should all be removed, or else we should have wider pavements.
Since I have been walking with my visually-impaired friend Marika Kovacs, I have become more aware of the risk which obstructions on pavements can cause.