Letters, December 20 2012 Pt 2

Pavements are there for us all to share

SIR – I feel minded to write to you regarding a matter affecting normal pedestrians around St Albans.

You will no doubt wish to edit my comments as I write immediately following a recent experience I had as a pedestrian.

Yesterday morning, Sunday (December 9), I was walking along Homewood Road, St Albans, at a quite moderate pace.

After a while I noticed a jogger at some distance off, coming towards me on a straight length of the pavement.

It was quiet with little road traffic. As one does, I politely kept to the inside of the pavement to allow the jogger plenty of room to pass and I kept walking at my moderate pace (I am not particularly wide!).

The jogger passing me give me quite violent shoulder contact and kept running as if nothing had happened.

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I am of a retired age but quite generally fit still, but I really was more surprised than any other reaction.

I did call out once to the jogger to express this surprise – I said “Madam!” but nothing else.

The jogger at that point casually called back “sorry” but certainly did not slacken her pace, and she carried on running.

I have had one or two other similar experiences in the past as a pedestrian in residential areas near my own home like this. I may say that children are much more considerate by and large.

May I politely draw attention through your columns to those who go jogging to please show some thoughtfulness and even common courtesy to pedestrians when passing by?

There was plenty of room for the two of us to pass on this normal-width pavement without careering into me.

The pavement after all is the proper and only refuge for the pedestrian!

Without detracting from joggers’ enjoyment of their form of exercise, by observing basic consideration, our lives would all be enhanced.


St Albans

Inconvenienced at railway station

SIR – I recently arrived at St Albans city station after a trip to London and enquired the whereabouts of the ladies’ toilet.

I was told to go back over the bridge and I would find it on Platform 2.

Our station was modernised in recent years so I was very surprised there were no toilets in the main part of the station (especially as there is a small caf� there).

After eventually finding the not very salubrious toilets, I returned over the bridge and was allowed out, as previously arranged with the man at the ticket barrier.

Presumably all those who work in the main concourse have to do this trek when necessary.

As councils are cutting back on public toilets, I do not expect to see one outside the station in the foreseeable future either.


Berners Drive, St Albans

Thanks from Rotary Club for your support

SIR - On behalf of the members of the Harpenden Village Rotary Club, I should like to thank the residents of Harpenden and the surrounding villages who, again, so generously supported our charitable fund raising events throughout 2012.

As a result, this will enable donations of some �28,000 to be made by the club to charities and other good causes.

During the year our flagship event – Classics on the Common – raised a record �20,000 enabling the significant donations to be made to the three main beneficiaries: Harpenden Mencap, The Keech Children’s Hospice and Mercy Ships. Out other community fundraising events, such as the Charity Walk introduced in 2011, also received excellent support. So again, to all local residents who came along to our events – thank you – we look forward to seeing you next year.


President, Harpenden Village Rotary Club.

Movember message must be heard

SIR - I must just make an small observation on Debbie White’s excellent piece in the Herts Ad of December 6 regarding the recent Movember campaign.

It was refreshing and heart-warming to read in the Herts Ad that so many men had given of their time and facial hair in the name of raising awareness of prostate cancer which remains one of the biggest killers of men in the UK. Known as the “silent killer” for in the early stages the disease shows no symptoms at all, prostate cancer traditionally used to affect men of more elderly years - but in the past two decades, due to better screening and growing awareness, it has been caught in men much younger, many in their 40s.

Those who have acted on this better screening have beat the disease and gone on to lead full and productive lives which wouyld have been otherwise cut short.

The great tragedy is though, despite it being almost as common as breast cancer in females, PCa only receives 20 per cent of the funding compared to its female disease counterpart - but campaigns like Movember are changing all of that.

Now, with a greater awareness of the signs to look out for; going to the loo several times a night, difficulty passing or pain on passing urine among the more common, together with men pro-actively taking a simple blood test known as a PSA test to check the level of Prostate Specific Antigen in their blood, many more cancers are being found before it is too late and the disease has spread causing devastation for the men concerned and their families. Men are slowly, ever so slowly, becoming more “body aware” and visiting their GPs.

So, a big and hearty well done to the men of the Herts Ad, the local businesses and many others who all grew a tash last month to raise money for prostate cancer. This cash, when combined with the greater national effort will do nothing but good in the battle to find a cure for this insidious, dreadful and debilitating disease and I tip my hat to everyone concerned. If you would like to find out more about the work of the Prostate Cancer Charity visit their website www.prostatecanceruk.org or telephone their free helpline on 0800 074 8383.


Green Lane, St Albans

Commissioner rakes in the rewards

SIR - David Lloyd did not give up the position of chairman of the Police Authority, the job was discontinued; it’s a wonder he didn’t ask for redundancy!!!

If Mr Lloyd has to meet the Chief of Fire Services in his new position, then that fact is covered by his �75,000 salary. He does not need another job and further payment for doing his new job (plus expenses?).

Mr Lloyd already has all the contacts he needs from his other positions, and surely they will all be built into his new job description.

Mr Lloyd also has all day to meet his contacts as the job of Police Commissioner is obviously a full time job at �75,000-plus.

Come on Mr Lloyd, get your feet out of the trough.

I would like to think that you will continue a campaign against these bureaucrats, who think that the taxpayer has deep pockets.

Most taxpayers would love to “earn” �75,000-plus for a part time job, plus expenses (from both, or more jobs)

Resulting from an e-mail to the four candidates prior to the election, only one replied, stating that he would resign his other position if elected. One out of four!We have very long memories.


Bloomfield Road, Harpenden

View from the pool

SIR - With reference to the letters in the Herts Ad regarding the pool floors at Westminster Lodge, I would just like to add my point of view.

Yes I walk into the changing village wearing my boots/shoes without the blue covers on for two reasons:

I have a replacement hip and the floors are so slippery when wearing the blue shoe covers that it is dangerous for me to walk with them on - even on dry tiles. However, my boots/shoes are never “covered in mud”. My feet are wiped thoroughly when I arrive at the xentre.

On wet tiles with or without shoes on the feet the floor is still incredibly slippery and I am frightened that I will slip and injure my hip again. I am sure I am not alone at my age of 60+ to fear slipping over. There appear to have been quite a few “incidents” of slipping/falling over already and the pool has barely been open a month! No-one “runs” in the changing room, but normal walking is almost impossible entailing walking toe then heel and hoping that the feet will stay where they are put without a slip.

When the floor is non-slip I will happily take my footwear off to enter the changing room.

The changing room, floors and the poolside were dreadfully dangerous to try to walk on for the first couple of weeks, and despite the floor supposedly having been treated, the changing room is still like skating on ice. If the district council and Everyone Active really want people to visit the pool, they have to address the seriousness of the slippery floors.

The pool itself is lovely but far too small, and with more people using it and incapable of following the direction arrows, it becomes a like a dodgems fairground attraction, trying to find space to swim fast or slow.

I do hope that everything gets sorted out very soon.


Bedmond Lane, St Albans

No regard for disabled motorists

SIR - I am registered disabled and use a blue badge as I have a serious lung disease (Pulmonary Hypertension) so I can walk only a short way before becoming breathless.

Many times I find a car parked in a disabled only parking bay without a blue badge and it is very upsetting. Also I see fit people jumping out of cars and hurrying away obviously using granny’s parking badge. Can nothing be done to stop all this? The bays need to be much better illustrated and marked out. I have never seen an attendant challenging anyone and asking to see the photo on the reverse of the badge which they have a right to do.


Sauncey Avenue, Harpenden