LETTERS: Help us to end the clutter of street signs

Street clutter has been on the agenda this week

Street clutter has been on the agenda this week - Credit: Archant

Street clutter has been on the agenda on our letters page published today (Thursday)

Street Clutter

SIR - Street clutter such as irresponsibly placed shop advertising signs (A-Boards) and pavement cafe furniture can obstruct and hamper a person’s progress on the street.

Keeping pathways clear is particularly crucial for the independence of people who are blind and partially sighted. A recent Guide Dogs survey for their Streets Ahead campaign showed A-Boards and cafe furniture are both in the top 10 most common street clutter items, acting as a real barrier to a person’s independence. Shockingly, 65% of those with sight loss have been injured by street clutter too. It also prevents wheelchair users and other vulnerable pedestrians from using the pavements with confidence.

Several local councils have already introduced measures to reduce unnecessary clutter. For example shops can use window adverts instead of multiple A-boards to entice customers and improve the street for pedestrians.

I would like your paper to join me in a campaign to ask the council to introduce measures to tackle unnecessary street clutter and ensure that our high street is fully accessible to those who are blind or partially sighted. Please email campaigns@guidedogs.org.uk for more information about their campaign and survey findings.

I work currently with a partially sighted man who has an assistance dog and know from first hand experience how obstacles can confuse both dog and owner.

Most Read

Pat Grogan

Shephall View



Glass balls

SIR - Who in god’s name thought it would be a good idea to put ridiculous glass balls in our lovely fountain?

From Broadway in Letchworth GC you could see the beautiful fountain at the end looking really nice in all weathers.

It now looks like a fairground attraction. Take those stupid balls down and give us back our fountain.

Alison Spary

Letchworth GC


No connection

SIR - The recent excellent letters from Margaret Eddleston and John Pearce serve to underline the disconnect between the residents of Hitchin and their ruling class, in the form of their councillors and the unelected officials.

The councillors have chosen to ignore the terms of the gift of Bancroft Gardens as a recreation ground for the resident of Hitchin and are hell bent on redesignating this area as a garden, removing the public tennis courts which are well used.

Mr Pearce asks what can be done to make councillors accountable? The good news is that there is one very sure way to make them accountable and that is to vote for somebody else. The main concern of politicians is to stay in power and they really hate to be voted out of office.

So if you are not satisfied with the way they refuse to listen to you the remedy is in your own hands - vote them out. Vote for a party which will listen to your concerns and which cares deeply about local democracy - vote UKIP.

Adrianne Smyth

UKIP candidate for Hitchin Priory Ward


Thumbs down

SIR - Surely it’s possible to do better than the building shown in architect’s impression of the proposed replacement of the Plinston in Letchworth GC? I viewed the picture with disbelief.

Our garden city has a style that is soft and easy and yet this project is hard and harsh. Where are the echos of our roof lines and the elegance of the buildings?

The plans show a profile that is the type a five-year-old would draw as a building. This is apparently an Arts and Design centre of excellence, what better start could be made than in creating an attractive building of which Letchworth GC can be proud in the years to come?

I wonder who has had the say in the chosen plans, I cannot grace it with the title ‘design’. Could we expect the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and the North Herts District Council planning approval committee to give it thumbs down?



Letchworth GC


Good show

SIR - I recently attended a very dramatic performance of George Orwell’s 1984 by the youth group of Stevenage Lytton Players at Stevenage Museum and wish to congratulate them on an excellent show.

I wish them well and good luck for their visit with this production to The Edinburgh Festival this summer. I understand Lytton Players are planning several other events at Stevenage Museum and am looking forward with eager anticipation to these.

Iris Maggs

St Nicholas



Money wasted

SIR - It was with a sense of elation that I drove into Hitchin on Saturday morning along the A505 when I realised that the dreaded roadworks were no more.

My sense of elation quickly evaporated when a taxi emerged from Charlton Road and turned right in front of me.

I had innocently believed that the main reason for the work was to prevent drivers from making this very dangerous turn.

True, traffic coming from Hitchin can no longer turn right into Charlton Road, but in my view this was a less dangerous manoeuvre anyway. All that cost. All that inconvenience. Was it really worth it?

Don Hitchcock

Foster Drive



End the mess

SIR - In response to Katryna’s letter in last week’s ‘Comet’ – may I thank her for further publicising the issue we have with dog walkers who don’t clear up after their pet when walking on Norton Common.

We are well aware that the vast majority of dog owners are totally responsible and do put their dog’s waste into the many bins provided – and we thank them for it. However, there is a persistent minority who just don’t seem to care.

We have for a long time been “stick and flicking” faeces away from areas where people walk but for someone else to remove them only obscures the problem – it doesn’t solve it.

The “highlighting” of dog faeces by painting them red is more than just an attempt to draw attention to the problem, Katryna, it’s also an attempt to prick the consciences of those who cause it.

If, seeing their dog’s poo painted bright red has not already alerted offenders to the fact that their irresponsible behaviour is noticed, perhaps this dialogue will reach their ears and maybe they will be persuaded to change their habits. We can only hope.

Barbara Crombie

Friends of Norton Common


Trip cash

SIR - Today we are informed that some parents are unable to finance foreign trips for their children…‘quelle surprise’!

I was at school in Hitchin in the 1940s. The situation was the same then.

Many parents could no more afford to send their offspring on these ‘extra-curricular’ activities than fly. Children accepted the situation.

We half envied the ‘affluent’ children, but got on with life, -‘c’est la vie’.

Mr BJ Smith

Whitehill Rd



Vote poser

SIR - Not long now to the next MEP elections, so I suspect we shall soon be hearing from people we have never heard of, hoping that we will vote for them.

I say people we have never heard of, because I wonder how many people know who our current MEP is, I certainly don’t. We only hear from them just before voting time, and then not another word until the next election. What does a MEP actually do?

I would like to know how many times they attend meetings, what they have achieved for us, and also what they get paid, being more and more cynical as I get older, I would also like to see documentation to prove what they say. (I wonder why I can’t seem to trust politicians! as I am sure there are no doubt many of them that do a sterling job, without trying to ‘manipulate’ expenses).

I would also hope that when we do hear from the hopeful candidates, that they let us know where they live, as I certainly won’t be casting my vote for someone that doesn’t even live in the area, plus what they intend to do whilst they are in post, and a guarantee that they will update us regularly, on how there projects are progressing, and not wait until the next election.

I live more in hope than in expectation.

Dave Walton

Ryders Hill



Danger spot

SIR - I live on Green Lane in Letchworth GC and I agree with everything that Roland Talbot says about the dangers of Green Lane.

The “White Spot” junctions give poor visibility whichever way they are approached and, of course, vehicles travelling on Green Lane must exercise their “right of way” over the side roads and drives.

In some places it is impossible to park as a visitor without creating a chicane or blocking a resident’s driveway.

I have a good front drive and I encourage all my visitors to use it rather than parking on the road – as long as other residents and their visitors and of course passing motorists, allow them to do so. I often have to drive over the kerb to enter my drive on account of visiting tradesmen and deliveries.

Driving out again onto Green Lane requires great patience and skill.

It is a busy road which only tree felling and compulsory purchase of front gardens can improve - but this would be a long and costly exercise.

Let us hope that a solution is found before the proposed building North of the Grange Estate brings more residents needing to use Green Lane.

In the meantime bring on the “pimples”.

Name and address supplied


Grant vote

SIR - In response to the letter published last week entitled ‘Sorry Sign’ by Mr John Pearce, I would like to clarify the council’s position on this particular grant application.

A grant application to help fund a Bessemer commemoration sign for Charlton was brought forward to Hitchin Area Committee in January last year by members of the Charlton Society. At the meeting, members of Hitchin Area Committee approved the grant in principle, however they requested further details, including final designs and copy of the society’s accounts before they could grant formal approval. Confirmation of other external funding was also required. I can confirm that the grant application will now be brought back before the next public meeting of Hitchin Area Committee on 10 June for a final decision.

Liz Green

Head of Policy and Community Services

North Herts District Council