No to concrete

Regarding your article in last week s Comet, On the Verge , I live exactly where your photograph shows, and I have been in contact with the local councillor on a couple of occasions regarding the terrible state of the grass verge. I actually sent them ph

Regarding your article in last week's Comet, 'On the Verge', I live exactly where your photograph shows, and I have been in contact with the local councillor on a couple of occasions regarding the terrible state of the grass verge. I actually sent them photographs to show why I was so concerned. Since then the state of the grass verge has got progressively worse.

I would like to add that a lot of the damage caused over the last few months has been caused by North Herts Homes vans. I tried to get a photograph of the vans while they were on the grass verge, but they left before I could get my camera. The best answer is for some parking bays, as this section of the road is very narrow, and is also part of a bus route. What with the school nearby, the traffic during the rush hour is very busy. The parked cars, one of which is mine, make this section of Icknield Way single file.

I hope this short note can put some more light on the situation.

LESLIE J COOPER, Icknield Way, Letchworth Garden City


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* Letchworth Garden City, the clue is in the title. If I arrive home from work after 6pm, I often cannot park outside my own home due to the volume of parked cars and have to walk 100-150 yards from where I parked my car to my home.

I suppose I could park on the nearest grass verge, but I do not want to add to the obstruction of the verges, as other motorists are doing.

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Letchworth Garden City used to have bylaws to prevent parking on grass verges, do they still exist? If they do, we should enforce them and fine the culprits.

Bollards and knee rails would prevent verge parking, but do not always blend in with the landscape.

Surely, we need to re-educate motorists into legal parking habits and save our grass verges before we are taken over by concrete and have to resort to call our fine town just Letchworth again.

ROY ADAMS, Monklands, Letchworth Garden City

* Your front page article of January 18 "On the verge" reads as though North Herts District Council is intent on concreting over large swathes of grass verges in Letchworth Garden City. Of course it isn't!

The conundrum we all have to deal with is catering for greater car ownership and heavier traffic while protecting the green spaces bequeathed to us by the Garden City's designers. Over many years, houses which were built without garages have had drives laid across the verge and hard standing in their front gardens. There are several instances where lay-bys have already been created in pre-war estates. Yet the landscape is still very green, and still would be even if all the current proposals were implemented.

These are carefully thought out and modest suggestions for mitigating the damage currently being done by traffic in very specific places. They will be debated by the Highways Joint Member Panel consisting of councillors from NHDC and from the county. The task of the Letchworth Area Committee was to prioritise the areas that most needed treating. We have yet to see how many of the proposals will be affordable.

I would take the opportunity to ask your readers to take special care when driving that they do not damage the verges which are extremely soft and are suffering quite badly in this wet weather.

The Letchworth Area Committee of NHDC has invested a considerable amount of money to keep the garden city green, including tree planting programmes in areas such as Norton Way South and on the Grange Estate, as well as the Grange central regeneration project. NHDC is also hopeful of receiving lottery funding for major improvements to Howard Gardens, to go along with the Broadway Gardens scheme which it completed at the centenary.

Councillor MICHAEL PATERSON, Chairman Letchworth Area' Committee, North Hertfordshire District Council

* I am writing in regard to the comments about Letchworth's greenswards in last week's edition of The Comet.

Greenswards - is that what they are called - churned up muddy patches would be a better description. Why are people allowed to park on them with impunity? I cannot remember when I last saw a police presence in my area! The council's grass-cutting equipment is no better as they too churn up the greenswards, plus the fact that the grass is never collected, it is just left strewn across the footpaths, which is quite dangerous. Elderly people can easily slip on them and hurt themselves. If the council were to be sued now and again they might rethink their policy, but I doubt it.

It is alright councillors saying that greenswards are better than parking areas. That is fine if, like me, you have a garage and a driveway, but not everyone has. Surely some concreted areas for parking would be a more practical solution. Quite a few of the green areas are small anyway and these get churned up by lorries, so that they are neither any use nor ornament. Bollards are not the answer as they are an eyesore.

In relation to maintenance, why every year do streets like Broadway get the fallen leaves gathered up while residents of lesser roads have to collect their own? Surely we all pay council tax? If the council say that they cannot afford grass and leaves collection, then surely less greenswards would be more economical. Less greenswards = less maintenance = less expenditure. But then people and bodies like the council who spend our money do not have to consider economics.

Sorry to sound so cynical, I do not protest very often because nothing ever improves, it seems you cannot beat the system. Can you wonder why the majority of people do not bother to vote at election time?

STAN BAIN, Spring Road, Letchworth

* I would be very much against the paving over of any grass verge, after all it is the greenery that helps make our town a garden city.

I think the way to stop the damage is to have a purge on illegal parking on these verges and pavements as this is what does the damage. I am a motorist so I am not against the motor car, just the irresponsible owners who think they can park where they like, especially out of town. Also some of the larger lorries that visit do a lot of damage because they are not driven correctly. Drivers of such vehicles do not damage walls in tight locations but because it's a flowered roundabout or low curb, it does not seem to worry them.

JV, Address supplied

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