Letters to the Mercury - 16 March 2012

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Have your say

Install a roundabout

WHILE as a long-term resident of Easton-on-the-Hill I agree with the sentiment of your campaign to improve the safety of the A1/A43 Wothorpe junction, I think the idea that “Stop” signs on the slip road and a 40mph limit on the A43 is going to make any difference is at best naive.

I would suggest to the council that as well as a site visit they set up a hidden camera for a week and then they could see what really goes on. I lost count many years ago of the amount of near misses I’ve witnessed at this junction.

“Stop” signs on the sliproad might well be noticed by those drivers who already think it a good idea to look before pulling out, but would be as equally ignored as the current Give Way signs are by those that don’t.

On two occasions when exiting the A1 south I’ve been confronted by vehicles actually on the slip road exit, driving up the wrong way, presumably trying to get on to the A1 southbound! Clearly the large, red No Entry signs meant nothing to them.

It’s not always the fault of those coming off the A1 either. The numerous white-lined exclusion areas on the A43 at the junction are also regularly ignored in suicidal overtaking manoeuvres. A common occurrence both uphill and downhill, and especially interesting when someone is turning right onto the A1 north.

I fear overtaking on the A43 on the approach to the junction would be further encouraged by a 40mph limit unless two speed cameras (up to £40,000 each I believe) were also appropriately positioned.

A 40mph limit on the A43 would have little influence on those who randomly pull out from the A1, although as Mr Lyon suggests, the ferocity of impact would be less.

I bet they wouldn’t pull out if it was a police car coming up the hill, “inability to judge speed” or not. Strangely if you’re driving up the hill on the A43, they often wait until you’re almost at the A1 slip road exit before they pull out in front of you!

The stupid, partially blind, drunk, drugged, tired, perpetually late, psychotic, unlicensed and uninsured and those with under-inflated bald tyres are all out there, and the only physical intervention that could assist them to get beyond Wothorpe and cause a crash somewhere else, would be a roundabout.

And I mean a proper roundabout, not a white circle painted in the road. It looks to me as if there would be enough room. This would give the A1 south exit priority, but other than possibly traffic lights I can’t see any other effective solution. I’d have thought the A1 north entry road junction could remain as it is.

I appreciate that at the end of the day this is only a road junction not a war zone (although after the last crash it did look a bit like a war zone), but clearly it features a particular combination of possibilities that prove too tempting to any bad drivers who may happen to be there, making it an unusually dangerous place for the rest of us to be.

I always feel uncomfortable when I hear the word “accident” used to describe a road crash. From what I’ve seen in 35 years of driving it’s mostly dangerous and irresponsible driving that causes crashes. “Accident” seems a convenient term to use after the event, as if it were inevitable and excusable.

PETER COMELY

High Street, Easton-on-the-Hill

Falklands

veterans

THIS spring marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. In 1982, the battle to recapture the Falkland Islands cost 255 British lives.

It is a conflict that remains in the minds of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who were involved. All remember their comrades who didn’t return, but for some the memories have become too painful.

It is a tragic fact that more Falklands veterans have taken their own lives since the war than died during the conflict itself.

As we remember the bravery of all those who fought in the Falklands, we should also remember that the scars of war can be both physical and mental and often remain long after a conflict is over.

Even the daily pressures of life in our forces can bring additional stresses and problems for individuals and their families. Last year alone, the Bourne and Stamford division of the military charity SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Forces Help assisted 67 members of the Forces community in the area including veterans of all ages. We are here for them and their dependants, whether their problems have been caused by the conflict or not. If you or someone you know have ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force then SSAFA Forces Help Lincolnshire branch is here to provide practical, emotional or financial support. My telephone number is 01778 394483.

NEVILLE JOHNSON

Divisional Secretary

SSAFA Forces Help Bourne and Stamford

Government ‘secrecy’

Keith Martin (Letters, March 2) drew readers’ attention to the parliamentary debate about the release of a report listing potential risks to the NHS contained in the NHS Bill.

As this Government is supposed to be in favour of transparency then local Conservative MPs should have been keen to vote for the publication of the report. But they didn’t.

Nick Boles was not alone in voting against the report’s release – John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, MP for the Deepings, also voted against.

This Government says it wants to be open – yet it suppresses an important report. It’s not just in the Department of Health that this secrecy is happening.

The Department for Education tried to keep things hidden by using private e-mail accounts for departmental business. However, the Information Commissioner has ruled that Education Secretary Michael Govemust disclose the e-mails he sent through a private e-mail account named “Mrs Blurt”. It would be laughable if it were not so blatantly designed to hide actions from the public.

Mr Martin is correct when he says the Government is making it difficult for “ordinary people” to be fully involved in decisions when information is kept from them.

The Government divides “ordinary people” into two types: those who support Government policies and those who do not. People in the last group are dismissed as “Trots”, “zombies”, “enemies of promise”, communists, socialist workers, bigoted ideologues and any other bogey man (or woman) detested by the Right.

Janet Downs

Bridge Street, Deeping St James

Think again, Nimbys!

Anyone who has read my letters over the years will know my views on Nimbys.

Maybe they will remember back to my letters in 2004 when development of the fallow field between the Empingham and Tinwell roads in Stamford was first mooted.

I stated if the view was so great why do the houses overlooking this field nearly all have 10ft conifer hedges blocking out the wonderful view. Take a walk or cycle along the path between the Empingham and Tinwell Roads you’ll see what I mean.

I stated then that the community should get involved to ensure a balanced development took place – not just commuter housing, not just industry.

Sadly the Nimbys thought they had won, but I warned then that in five or 10 years development would happen and urged that the Nimbys helped ensure the inevitable development would be advantageous to Stamford.

At first sight this proposed development appears to fulfil the balanced development criteria and I would suggest that Stamford South West Approaches Group scrutinises the proposals and ensures the best for Stamford rather than what it irrationally perceives to be best for themselves.

Jobs, housing, more facilities – who could argue against that ? It’s not a case of east or west we have to develop both sides of the town. The price of houses is dependant upon the housing stock. If we can’t build new houses the price of affordable housing becomes unaffordable.

Don’t get me started on the lack of the obvious southern east-west bypass due to the Nimbys. Controlled development east and west of the town is the obvious way forward for our town and would also save our beautiful town centre with the extra custom it would bring.

Nimbys think what you really want. Is it the view of Ketton cement works through the gaps in your 10ft hedge or is it jobs and houses for your children?

Rog Parkinson

Roxburgh Road, Stamford

Wonders of Whitefriars

I FEEL that I would like to give some credit to the wonderful caring staff of Whitefriars Care Home.

My mother was a resident in the dementia unit for 26 months until her death this week. I cannot speak highly enough for all the care and support she (and we) received. It wasn’t just care but kindness and loving care which is there 24 hours every single day, and makes such a difference to us families who have to entrust our loved one over to them. While sitting in the unit for numerous hours this week you realise what a very difficult, sometimes humorous and sometimes heart-breaking and rewarding job they all have to do. I think they should all be given a gold medal and lots of thanks for looking after our loved senior citizens so very well for us.

PAT HICKS

St John‘s Close, Stamford

Grand sum

We would like to say a big thank you to everybody who gave us a helping hand at the Matt Hampson evening held at Greetham Community Centre on Saturday night and to all those who bought tickets to the event and raised even more money through the raffle and auction prizes.

We reached our target of £1,000 for the Matt Hampson Foundation, which was fantastic. Matt also raised a further £400 through the sale of his book, Engage.

All in all a very successful evening.

Merv and Sue Bamber

Main Street, Greetham

Thank you all

I would like to thank everyone who came to my 90th birthday party and made it such a special occasion.

Special thanks go to my Scottish family, who travelled all that way to be with me on my birthday. Also I’d like to say thanks for the lovely flowers and presents and the cheques for the Royal Naval Association. And finally thanks to The Crown in Stamford, who did me proud. It was really a brilliant night.

Vera McGowan

Northumberland Avenue, Stamford

Quick work

I don’t usually write letters but thought I had to give praise where praise was due.

I rang the council at 10.30am on Friday last week about three potholes along Rutland Road, Stamford and by 5pm that day they were done. How’s that for service.

B Ingham

Rutland Road, Stamford