Bucks Herald letters round-up: Aldi access

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In this week’s round-up of the Herald letters page a correspondent criticises the new Aldi store in Aylesbury.

Aldi

Wheelchair access

I was wanting to highlight to poor/ inadequate access for wheelchair/ disabled person access to the Aldi store on Bicester Road.

Given that this store was only opened within the last few months, and close to the residential area on the northern side of Bicester Road, I was surprised to see that access was only via steps.

I myself live in the Old Town so am not from the Bicester Road area, but I do get involved in organising community events when a priority is given to access for anyone no matter their abilities.

I noticed the steps in question whilst driving along the Bicester Road some time ago, but last week I had reason to walk from Broadfields to home and confirmed my observation that there is no ramp access to Aldi from the Bicester Road.

Anyone who is unable to use steps or is using a child’s buggy etc has to walk all the way around Chamberlain Road , or Griffin Lane to Rimmington Way and the car park access.

I consider this unfairly restricts access to a significant sector of the population, how did this get through planning permission?

Even without planning surely Aldi have more consideration for their potential customers.

Adrian Jackson

Address supplied

Facebook

Build Bowie statue?

The following comments were made on The Bucks Herald Facebook page to our question, ‘should a Bowie statue be put up in Aylesbury?’

If this is done for Bowie will every one else who started out at Friars have a statue. Perhaps everyone at Friars could be acknowledged in a freize, their promenance depending on their longevity in the music world!

Andrea O’Neill

David Bowie was a national hero and was extra special.No one else comes anywhere close. He was probably just as important to music and art as Lennon and Elvis.

Jacki Eaglestone

Yes, but put it somewhere near something newly built... because, if you don’t, it will get knocked down when the Council decide to take out an old building and put up a new café or another car-park.

Julie Breedon

Only if you have statues to the Forgotten Sons (see what did there?) that are John Otway and Marillion.

Colin Powell

I don’t think so as Brixton and Berlin are likely to get statues. He was good but honestly there are others more deserving of statues, if you want to remember him then do as I do and play his music in the car and at home. He wouldn’t have wanted statues everywhere

Simon Fry

Yes to a statue. It is a no brainer. There is one of Ronnie Barker, after all.

Hev Skinner

I will only accept a statue of Bowie if they also put one of Lemmy as well.

Jack Connell

Have a whip round, knock yourselves out, but not one penny of public money should be spent on building, erecting or maintaining it.

Stuart Ekins

Ridiculous suggestion

Adam Manning

Save a bit of money & get that Michael Jackson statue they floated down a river that time.

Steve Edwards

No, may have made it in Aylesbury but he never came back to thank us did he?

Aaron Halliday

No. Liked him, listened to his music and have nothing bad to say, but a statue? Really?

Tony Stephens

Why in Aylesbury? He was born in Brixton.

Jane Burke

John Otway is far more worthy!! Maybe both of them!

Ave W Bl

Love Bowie adore his tunes but I don’t think of Aylesbury when I think of Bowie.

Pina Elve

Why!!!! He wasn’t from Aylesbury.

Michael Barratt

No. He has as much to do with Aylesbury as Jeremy Corbyn has to do with the Kruger National Park.

Madeleine Vose

Why would we want something in Aylesbury which might result in thousands of his fans coming to Aylesbury spending money round here and increasing our economy let alone celebrate an artist who played a fair few times here in Aylesbury in the early days God forbid noooooo!

Anthony Davison-Hoult

Of course. It will bring much needed tourism to the town. An all round winner in my view.

Karl Vaughan

Roads

Prevent potholes

Bucks CC wants the public to report potholes, but it seems that your Elmhurst correspondent who did so (Letters 13 January) wsa only given half an answer.

The existence of the pothole was not in dispute but the question of whether it was “dangerous” was a matter of opinion by the person who inspected it, influenced by the knowledge that there has to be some order of priority when dealng with remedial work.

The highway authority is responsible for ensuring that the highway is safe to use.

It is also responsible for maintaining the value of the asset. That value is now based on the cost of ultimately replacing it.

Bituminous materials normally have a life of 15 - 20 years.

They oxidise and become brittle with exposure to the elements, so that they are no longer flexible.

Cracks then appear, and rainwater penetrates into the road structure.

In due course the road becomes a collection of interlocking fragments instead of a continuous slab.

The winter freeze/thaw cycle continues the fragmentation process until potholes appear.

Pothole repairs cost up to 20 times more per square metre than resurfacing, and have a life of three or four years.

A Government-sponsored Pothole Report a couple of years ago advised that “prevention is better than cure”. Local authority highway engineers, as well as those on the commercial side of the industry, have known for generations that keeping road surfaces sealed against water penetration is the best way of preventing potholes appearing.

Unfortunately our politicians, faced with continuing demands for “savings”, have been unwilling or unable to allocate sufficient money to follow this advice.

There is now a massive backlog of remedial work which the present level of funding is unlikely to overcome.

Unfortunately also, there was a public reaction against surface dressing, which is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of avoiding water penetration as well as restoring polished surfaces to improve skid resistance.

Too many broken windscreens caused by people in a hurry mistreating freshly laid surfacing led to a campaign to abandon that idea.

In recent years the industry has developed new materials which, when properly applied, do not have the disadvantages of the old “tar and chip” system. If we do not keep our highways in good order then there will be consequential costs to the delivery of other services, all of which ultimately depend on reliable road access.

John Oliver

Campion Close, Aylesbury

Village

Lost playground

For nearly three generations there has been a playground in School Approach, Weston Turville.

Fond memories, friendships, support, social cohesion and help were all found here.

The school run was a daily ritual where the community came together in all weathers and where for a few moments children played.

No more however. Why? Because Weston Turville Parish Council has decided that car parking is more important than community.

Yes, it has spent thousands of pounds on a brand new wooden adventure playground, however this is soulless and is tucked away on a muddy field far away from the school gates, out of sight.

Far too many communities bemoan the fact that history is disappearing, that what works and works well is being ‘developed’. Why fix something when it is not broken? More cars will bring more risks.

This area was self managing and a joy to visit but its now only a memory.

Shame on you council and parish for destroying it, choosing cars over people and children.

Name and address supplied

Town

The Big Society

In response to a recent article, Winslow indeed does have a thriving Winslow Big Society Group WBSG , established before the recent cuts.

It was designed to identify and seek to fill gaps in services and provision for the Winslow community. We are proud to have been identified by our elected representative but wish to clarify some points relating to the Winslow Community Car Scheme.

The scheme assists Winslow residents to get to local health and social services, e.g. GP surgery, dentists, hairdressers, and Big Society events.

Drivers use their own cars and are not trained or expected to assist non ambulant passengers, so all our passengers have to be independent in terms of mobility. What it cannot offer is the type of specialist service that was offered by Dial a Ride. We do hope some form of replacement cover can be developed for the group previously served by that organisation.

WBSG is happy to assist other communities in developing their own ‘Big Society’ models including car schemes.

Diana Slevin

WBSG - Community Car Scheme Organiser

Politics

Health trust model

Your newspaper has recently been dominated by cuts to local councils. To me it just shows how in need we are of a huge overhaul of who runs what in this country.

How can it be right that an organisation run by vote-chasing politicians has responsibility for protecting vulnerable children (of which nothing is more important) and libraries and potholes (which are comparitively trivial). Yet at election time, these services dominate attention, because most people fortunately don’t have first hand experience of child abuse.

Surely the time has come for life saving services which should not be at the whim of vote-grabbing politicians to be taken out of their hands and run by a non-elected body (such as along the lines of health trusts) ultimately accountable to the government but not at the mercy of local councillors’ petty politics.

Adrian Ripley

Address supplied