Letter to the editor: 16/11/17

(16 November, 2017) Letters

This week: calls for government funding for councils to build houses; help with Heathrow flight-path hell; and response to our columnist's views on cycle paths

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Cycle lane madness

In reply to Donnachadh McCarthy’s column, Southwark News, 2 November, 2017,  regarding a few of the points he brought up.

Help – we have only ‘til November the 16 th (today) to stop this madness. 3,500 cyclists apparently use this route every day with no space? They have a bus lane that no private cars are allowed in and if they obey The Highway Code they should be very safe.

The estimated cost of implementing it will no doubt double by the time it’s built for cyclists who don’t contribute anything to it.

To spend all that money on a segregated cycle lane that will be more or less empty for the majority of the day seems immoral to me when the money could be put to better use.

The Southwark kids obesity problem has a lot to do with the junk food they eat and I’m sure they do PE in school.

The business people along the route don’t want the cycle lane as reported in the Southwark News.

Cars will be stationary longer in traffic that won’t be moving, so in fact will increase pollution, so rather than being safer longterm the cyclists will be poisoned more quickly. Where does he think the extra pollution will go?

Not everyone is mobile enough to ride a bike, so what happens to elderly people who rely on cars for doctor and hospital appointments, or getting shopping from the Quays?

In summing up, a small number of selfish, noisy cyclists want to create more pollution with more congestion for a limited time of the day, because they don’t understand The Highway Code to stay safe in a bus lane – at what no doubt will come to an astronomical cost! And they’ll deny elderly and disabled people the quicker time for their appointments and shopping trips.

Please help ensure they do not win by emailing support to consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/cs4/

We have to stop this madness

Yes we can!

Richard Haughney, via email

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Help our plane hell

HACAN South East, newly formed from the Plane Hell Campaign which you have written on and published letters from during the course of this year, is running a survey of numbers of aircraft flying across the Borough of Southwark and asking for your readers’ help.

While some areas have been overflown for many years, others have only more recently been affected by altered flight paths.  Additionally, planes are coming in to Heathrow at lower altitudes and more frequently, with the usual hours of respite being eaten into by planes arriving later in the day, and earlier in the morning.

Can you help us?  Here is how:

This month, November 2017, Plane Hell/HACAN South East are asking for your readers’ help:

Heathrow is consulting on the principle of flight paths early next year.

  • We want to remind Heathrow just how critical the situation is in Southwark.
  • We need to get an accurate number of planes going over SE London
  • It will give an idea of any changes there have been since HACAN  (a voice for those under flight paths) did counts in 2004, 2009 and 2011.

How readers can help:

  • choose an area/s, a date/s and a time/s
  • count the number of overhead and nearby planes
  • spend one hour in the morning
  • and one hour in the afternoon after 3pm
  • if anyone wishes to produce decibel counts that is a bonus

Send the totals, one for the morning and one for the afternoon (2 separate totals), along with the place, date and times to planehell@outlook.com

The results will be analysed by HACAN who will be creating publicity round the findings.

Earlier this week, a John Ruskin Street reader counted 48 planes between 5.58 – 6.58am and the following morning 16 planes between 4.33 – 5am.  In 30 years at the same address this only became noticeable from September 2016 onwards. Heathrow and Government need to know the detrimental effects constant noise and lack of sleep have on the population’s health.

Bridget Bell, Plane Hell and Secretary, HACAN South East

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Councils must borrow

Responding to the IPPR’s report on local authority house-building.

Councils are keen to get on with the job of delivering all types of homes, including those for affordable and social rent, as it is the only way we are going to address our national housing shortage.

Local authorities are playing their part, making sure that nine out of 10 planning appli-cations are approved, but increasingly the homes are not being built – which is why it is essential that councils’ planning services are properly funded, and that they are giv-en the power to make sure that developers build out approved homes quickly.

If we’re to really deliver the homes we need, with the infrastructure to support them, the Chancellor needs to use the Autumn Budget to lift the housing borrowing cap, and enable councils to borrow to build once more.

Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman.

Jane says:

Richard Haughney. You are entitled to your opinion. But please check your facts before voicing them so publicly. Firstly, people who cycle will be contributing financially to the cost of the CS4 in the same way as we all pay for the construction and maintenance of our public highways. Through general taxation. To say otherwise is wrong.
Secondly, please do not use the needs of the elderly to justify your argument. I work for a charity called Wheels for Wellbeing which supports anyone who wants to ride a cycle but finds that the current infrastructure prevents them from riding. This includes many older people and people with disabilities, who find that a cycle can actually be an aid to their mobility. Cycling is not a load bearing exercise and significant numbers of people who find walking difficult and do not wish to or cannot drive use a cycle in this way. BbbbbThirdly, a study has just shown that our area of SE London has unacceptable levels of pollution. To assert that cyclists want to create more pollution and congestion is a blatant and ridiculous twisting of fact to fit your point of view. Motor vehicles produce pollution and congestion, not cycles. The more people who use cycling and walking, eventually will result in fewer motor vehicles, less pollution and more room on the roads for the truly essential motor traffic, such as emergency vehicles, public transport for example.

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