Post letters: High rise building, parking, safe travel and mental health for the blind

Trocoll House in Barking. Picture: Steve Poston

Trocoll House in Barking. Picture: Steve Poston - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Flats plan has its advantages

Colin Newman, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

Paul Scott’s catalogue of the disadvantages of high-rise, high-density residential development, and his concern for our built heritage, may be fair enough but in fact disadvantages always have to be weighed up against advantages (Post letters).

Paul touches on air pollution. Well, these proposed flats could hardly be nearer the station and this will facilitate their residents’ ready use of public transport.

The high density should be good for retail vitality in the area – more custom for the 1870 Spotted Dog pub he mentions, for example, and all the other amenities that the station area inevitably attracts, all within easy walking distance.

The high density needed to tackle these two issues alone can only be achieved by building vertically.

As to affordability – yes, it is an ongoing issue, but not building the flats at all doesn’t make them affordable and it seems most likely that their location and the relatively low housing prices in the area will make them an attractive proposition to some people and the ‘affordable’ ones would be at least more affordable (or better value) than often sub-standard and pricy market-rate private-rented accommodation.

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I don’t see that his comment about lack of access to green spaces is valid in this particular case as surely the site is in easy walking distance of both Barking Park and Abbey Green. And high-rise of course places less pressure on green spaces than low rise.

It’s wrong to charge family to park

Les Underwood, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

As Mr Newmandoesn’t get my point, I will make clear (Post letters). When this parking plan happens, bays will be put outside everyone’s house – not in front of your run-in but at the side of it.

And the person who lives in that house can pay for tickets. So when my daughter’s son or any of the family come to see her, she has to put a ticket on the car windscreen so a warden can see it – the time etc the car has to be in a bay.

Losing my parking place doesn’t come into it. And as Colin has stated, if I come home to find a delivery van outside, you give them time to do the delivery.

Also, British Gas and others, always ask when you call them, if we have a parking place for their vans. If any of your neighbours have cars, they should make sure they have space to park them.

Why should a person living in a house have to pay for a family member, son, daughter or any of them, to park outside their house and anyone can just come along and park outside? That is wrong.

And if you think I’ve got it wrong concerning families paying to park just to go to Romford and parts of Barking where it is happening now. Just go and ask them that live there.

And as for being very expensive to enforce – we have traffic wardens up and down our turning all the time making thousands of pounds for our poor council.

All this council are concerned about is how to hit our pockets and this is one to do it.

We must be able to travel safely

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member for City and East London, writes:

New government figures have shown that 89 Londoners were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Barking and Dagenham last year.

We should in no way accept this as an inevitable reality of living in a busy city.

As Londoners, we should be able to travel across the capital confidently and safely – whether it’s crossing the street, getting on our bikes or boarding a bus.

This is why Transport for London launched its Vision Zero Action Plan, to implement measures to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries from our roads within the next twenty years.

At the heart of the plan is making our city safer and more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

We have seen this with the segregated Cycleways that have sprung up across London, the overhaul of dangerous junctions and roundabouts and the installation of more pedestrian crossing on busy roads.

With lockdown, the Streetspace scheme has also accelerated some of City Hall’s efforts to encourage Londoners to adopt greener ways to get around the capital.

However, with traffic steadily increasing, we all need to play our part by using our roads responsibly and attentively.

We can all play a part in Covid fight

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, writes:

Cases of coronavirus in London have been steadily increasing in recent weeks and we are now at a tipping point in our efforts to limit the spread of the virus in the city. Londoners still hold the key to reducing infection rates and lessening the impact of any second wave by making a continued conscious effort to consider our movements and behaviour.

Small actions can have a big impact on these trends, and by sticking to social distancing, practising good hand hygiene and following guidelines around the rule of six and face coverings, we can all play our part. Londoners have done it before and now is the time to do it again.

Finally, be aware of your health – if you have any coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a test as soon as possible. Every individual can make a difference.

Mental health help for blind

Amanda Hawkins, specialist lead, Emotional Support Services, RNIB (The Royal National Institute of Blind People), writes:

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Many blind and partially sighted people have faced anxiety, sadness and even fear about the unique challenges they have experienced – such as problems social distancing, difficulty shopping without guidance and isolation from losing tactile contact with friends and family during lockdown.

That is why RNIB has worked with Mind to launch Emergency Mental Health Sessions for local blind and partially sighted people to mark World Mental Health Day.

The sessions are completely free and offer people with sight loss the opportunity to speak to a counsellor for an hour over the phone about however they are feeling and any problems that are on their mind.

It doesn’t have to be about their sight.

If you or someone you know could benefit from speaking to someone, please call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999. We can set up a chat within 36 hours and the service can be used as many times as needed.

It’s been a tough year and it’s OK not to be OK, but you don’t need to suffer in silence.

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