Letters round up (Including plea to keep bus services)

A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette

Saturday, 23rd August 2014, 9:15 am
Figures suggest a large decline in the amount of white collar jobs

Bus cuts

Please don’t make things even worse

With reference to the Herts County Council (HCC) consultation on bus services in Hertfordshire (Gazette Wednesday July 23), I would like to point out the problems already encountered by residents of Chaulden, Boxmoor, Warners End and Gadebridge Hemel Hempstead.

Sadly we have already had one service axed by Arriva which has caused a great deal of inconvenience and upset to the above residents, that is the Arriva2 service which linked us to the railway station and also linked Boxmoor residents to Chaulden, Warners End and Gadebridge.

It is now necessary to get the Arriva 3 to the town and another bus out to the rail station.

The consultation document also states that Arriva 3 is from Chaulden to the rail station.

Quite true but it involves a journey from Long Chaulden through Hemel town centre thence to the railway station and only at the following times;

0611, 0641, 0701, 0716, 0733, 0808, 0838.

To suggest that we may also lose our Sunday and evening services, (if the public so wishes !), is not taking account of older residents and young families who do not have their own transport, of whom there are many.

As a golden oldie myself I do realise that Sunday is for a great many people, especially those who are not lucky enough as I am to have a lovely family living close by, quite a lonely sort of day and I understand many of them go for a bus ride.

Please also think of those families who through lack of hospital choice need to visit patients, maybe at Watford, St Albans, Stoke Mandeville, Luton and Dunstable or the Lister Hospital at Stevenage. Also family patients in rehab at either Langley House, Watford or Gossoms End, Northchurch.

This of course would affect all residents in Hertfordshire so when responding to the consultation I would ask all those who submit a response to take on board the problems that would arise, with even more cuts in the evening after 6.30pm and Sundays.

Finally, I am reliably informed that hard copies of the consultation papers will be available from the library but not yet sure of the date.

Betty Harris, Hemel Hempstead

Speed calming

Bumps don’t work on wider vehicles

While I largely agree with Richard North (speed bumps can damage your car August 13th), I would like to point out that the current speed bumps along Bridgewater Road Berkhamsted do not slow down lorries and vans and 4WD vehicles with a wide wheelbase.

Presumably Herts County Council regard these drivers and their vehicles as safer than the average car driver.

Stewart Baker, Berkhamsted

Speed calming

Solution is simple over speed bumps

Further to Richard North’s letter last week concerning the recently renewed speed bumps in Bridgewater Road, I, too, was told they were done to specification which simply means that the specification was incorrect.

The only work needed is for the leading and trailing edges of the bumps to be smoothed out, so they are not sitting like a bubble on top of the road surface.

Quite simple I would have thought.

I must say that I do love the small bump about three foot square which sits, together with its two painted arrows, right in front of the bollard at the Castle end of the road.

For the gnomes, perhaps?

Beryl Edwards, Northchurch

Car parking

Parking charges are punishment!

Frank Breadlin asks why Berkhamsted parking charges are higher than elsewhere in the borough and why there is no free first hour. The answer is simple.

The charges are set by Dacorum Borough Council based in Hemel Hempstead, which for years have ‘had it in’ for Berkhamsted and it’s their way to punish the town.

Why else do they charge for parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays when there is no logic in doing so? Parking congestion is not an issue on those days, but they still employ other-enthusiastic wardens to police it demonstrating that all they are interested in is milking the town for everything they can get, to the detriment of the shops.

Those councillors who don’t live in the town do not care about the effect that high charges and lack of free hours has on the town.

The more people they can ticket the better it is for their salaries.

I moved out of the area years ago, although I still visit friends in the town, as I did today.

The Borough Council should be proud to have a flagship town like Berkhamsted, but it seems that they are trying their best to destroy it and turn into just another town.

Twenty years ago Berkhamsted was listed as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.

Now it doesn’t even appear on the list. Who is to blame for that?

James Hemsley, Berkhamsted


Time for leader to be more accessible

I have become aware in recent times in the Gazette Mr Andrew Williams (Dacorum Borough Council leader) has been very keen to pat himself and his council on the back for the Hemel Old Town high street project, and reference Hemel town centre project which is in planning.

I was surprised he never mentioned the delays in the old high street project, and is there costs associated with the considerable overrun in this project, the near collapse of business in this area because of the almost six month overrun, the chaos in parking enforcement that followed, and the still much seen footfall loss to the area.

Then there is the money spent on getting ready for the Morrisons project that has fallen apart, at a cost to taxpayers.

Now he wants us the voters to congratulate him on getting funding for a new pedestrian zone and Water Gardens project, yet let’s remember what has gone before, and hold our breath to what is to come.

I have on several issues tried to speak to this elected official Mr Williams to discuss them and all you get from him is ‘in a meeting, too busy’.

All we want from you Mr Williams is honesty, how much overspend was there on the high street project, when and whom knew of the overrun and why were residents and local business owners kept in the dark.

Since the banking crisis we the general public have been kept in the dark on how much money our council has lost in the Icelandic banking crisis, who gave them the advice, what has Mr Williams’ actions been to recover as much of the monies lost?

Finally when will he become more accessible to his electorate, or should we judge him in 2015 on what he has not said ?

P Anderson, aka The Enforcer on the Gazette’s website


Don’t spoil good work on Old Town

Councillor Graham Adshead is rightly proud of the Borough’s achievements in the Old Town. (Gazette, August 6th).

Equally he enthusiastically supports the potential regeneration of the Marlowes, the Jellicoe Gardens and the possibilities of a new library, much needed, a revitalised civic centre and a new police station, also essential.

However he overlooks the very important Campus site that, mishandled, could blight developments at the north end of the Marlowes.

The site owners are, of course, the West Herts College and not the Borough Council.

I believe the Campus regeneration could provide quality facilities for learning.

I understand that the College will seek to cater for a broad range of provision meeting the needs of local people. Excellent; this is a vital response to local community needs.

Parts of the site are spacious and pleasing. The Gade flows through the centre. This site complemented the Jellicoe Gardens and was an integral part of the original Town plan.

There are persistent rumours that much of it will be used for housing.

This, if true, would substantially diminish the qualitative nature of the site itself and the eventual new Campus buildings.

At best such a process requires sensitivity, to be small scale, and for local people; surely not yet another block of flats providing highly rented spaces for commuters to London.

I feel that the College Governors at Watford may be sensitive to this; I hope and trust the Dacorum Borough Council is and will sustain the open characteristic of this area, almost the only green space in an already crowded, heavily trafficked Town centre. How unfortunate it would be, after rehabilitating the Old Town, to have next door, a characterless mass of buildings.

Howard Gilbert, Address supplied

Splash park

Politicians have a rather wet agenda

Following events in Dacorum, now from afar, I am pleased to see (from the Hemel Today website) that Councillor Williams has finally come to share another position I proposed when serving on Dacorum Borough Council.

In this instance it’s taken 10 years, normally it only took about 4 or 5 years for the Conservative Group on the council to adopt weaker versions of policies first put forward by the Labour Group.

When Tory run Dacorum first closed the paddling pool back in 2004 and the Gazette ran an online petition to save the paddling pool; then as Labour Group Leader, alongside Labour Councillor Maureen Flint, I proposed that the area of the paddling pool was converted in to a splash park.

However Councillor Williams was more interested in saving £18,000 per year in running costs and just had the paddling pool filled in.

Can Councillor Williams and MP Mike Penning’s interest in supporting the idea now have anything to do with being only around 10 months from the next Council and General Elections, and will the money pledge disappear afterwards, just like the promise to support a youth club in Highfield?

Keith White, Leeds (former Labour Group leader on DBC)