Cookham Discussion Board

General Category => General Cookham Discussions => Topic started by: bemused on March 31, 2008, 10:17:34 AM

Title: cookham plan meeting
Post by: bemused on March 31, 2008, 10:17:34 AM
did we win?

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: resident on March 31, 2008, 10:18:28 AM
Assuming you're not Richard Simmonds, then yes we won...for the moment.

And assuming the Parish Council formally kick out the Traffic groups' report at next week's council meeting that is.

After that the only way to make sure that we don't lose again is for those of us who are against needless building of roads, houses and car parks to get onto the new weorking groups and make sure that doesn't happen this time!

And to be clear...all Mr Simmond's talk about sheltered housing last night was a red herring to make it sound that if you are against building on Poundfield you are in favour of seeing old people out on the streets. It was classic politician's tactics. The housing committee found that going forward over the next 20 years the population of cookham would get younger...look how full the schools are...and that the need for sheltered accomodation was probably only 13 units which could be built anywhere in the village - even Cookham Dean.

Sheltered housing was always just being used as the spearhead for housing generally on Poundfield.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Fiona Beaumont on March 31, 2008, 10:19:34 AM
Having attended the ‘heated debate’ at Cookham Parish Council meeting about a suggested road across Poundfield I wondered if the answer was staring us all in the face. The reasoning behind building a one way system around the Pound is to increase the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, buggies etc through this impossibly narrow walkway.

We already have a marvellous and attractive causeway across the moor, immortalised by Stanley Spencer. Would it not seem sensible therefore to create an extension to this around the back of the Pound?

Running up Poundfield Land there is already a track around the back of the cottages, and this could be extended to come out at the back of the Spencers pub where a zebra crossing would provide safe access to the causeway. This would provide a fantastic facility to all children and their parents from Cookham Rise all the way to School Lane, not only providing a lovely walk across countryside, but hopefully reducing the school rat run.

I hope the landowner Mr Copas would support researching this idea and if he opposes a walkway rather than a road slashed across the site, I would be interested to know his reasons why.

Waht do others think?

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Sarah on March 31, 2008, 10:20:56 AM
A really nice idea, Fiona, but this possibility has been well explored in the past, then dropped as it wouldn’t work.

Firstly, because there are properties and gardens without any gaps all the way around the south and east sides of Poundfield to halfway up Terry’s Lane, there is nowhere for the path to finish and this would create a much longer walk, which would also be slightly uphill. Terry’s Lane is a hill, the bottom part narrow and winding and without a proper pavement, so this route rather defeats the purpose as it would actually be more dangerous for pedestrians than the Pound.

But, apart from the practicalities, even if the path were any shorter as you suggest, would you tell your children to walk to and from school on a footpath through a quiet field which is not even properly overlooked (i.e.fronted) by houses? Children are safer when seen, and I would certainly feel mine were safer walking through the Pound with care and awareness of the narrow pavement. Also, most local mums I know buy narrow buggies and make good use of the passing places.

Many women would not use a path hidden from general view if walking alone or with children and, unfortunately, it is well accepted that ‘invisible’ footpaths, particularly those which serve as routes to get from A to B, are prime targets for crimes of various kinds. It is also human nature for people to walk the shortest possible route, even if taking more care is necessary so, in reality, would a path over Poundfield be used by anyone, after all?

There is also the necessity for having any path built up and tarmacced (think you are right that it would need to be raised as a causeway as I believe that the ground there is very soggy) and, of course, floodlit. This, in itself, would be the start of the urbanisation of Poundfield which everyone is fighting so hard to avoid (and it would then probably be harder to stop surrounding development). This urbanisation is similar to the problem of the unpopular proposal for a car park on Marsh Meadow, which would mean a new, built-up roadway plus major floodlighting on the Moor.

However, all is not lost as another possible safety solution for the Pound is currently being investigated by experts and all will be revealed soon, apparently. Let’s wait a few weeks and see what happens!

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Fiona Beaumont on March 31, 2008, 10:21:56 AM
Sarah, thank you for your comments. These are my reactions to your concerns.

I agree we do not want the path to finish at Terry’s Lane (unless it crosses Terrys Lane to the Moor car park maybe?), so are we sure there is NOWHERE to get from the field that Curly Carver uses for his horses to the back of Spencers car park? It seems strange we can find access for a road, but not a footpath. Why is the car always seen as king?

Are foothpaths now out of bounds to all children? Seems such a waste with so many beautiful ones in Cookham. There are paths from Burnt Oak to Lower Road and Coxborow Close to Cookham Rise school and we all know these are used. What is the difference here? Also, if they are being used for the school run, they are hardly going to be deserted, where are all the Mums with their narrow buggies who need passing places? So you would rather let your child walk through the Pound but not a footpath with other children and Mums in broad daylight?

If people want to use the shortest route (minimal if the route is parallel to the Pound), let them. I am not suggested we remove an option, just add one. But, this could allow a Walking Bus scheme to be feasible or parents sharing duties. I wouldn’t want to lead five or six children through the Pound, but I can’t see any stress in taking them across this route and the causeway.

Why would it, “of course” have to be floodlit? The causeway isn’t and I don’t see any children making the journey to and from school in the dark. Maybe one of two low level lights, but I am against light pollution as much as the next person. This isn’t urbanization, just a clean foothpath. Would you say the Moor was urbanized by the causeway?

Come on, let’s not be deafest and scaremonger residents and children into believing there is danger round every corner.

I look forward to the secret plan!

Finally, and this is a general comment for the forum, why do people who want to express their views want to remain anonymous?

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Barry Weare on March 31, 2008, 10:22:55 AM
I like the footpath idea Fiona, especially as it was rejected by the now discredited Traffic & Transport Report!

I doubt it needs any lighting anyway as it would be mostly used in daytime when traffic is busiest. Mum's with pushchairs are rarely out at night. Anyone uncomfortable about using it at night can just use the existing Pound route.

Finally, unlike the Steering Group's approach I would ensure that the Pound residents are happy with the proposal before going ahead.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Paris on March 31, 2008, 10:23:58 AM
I prefer the footpath idea to that of a new road which certainly would be of no help to anyone except rat runners. However, as it would be a (slightly) longer route, in this day and age, I can't see that if built, it would get enough use to warrant all the fuss and bother. There seems to me to be enough difficulty getting people out of their cars and getting them to walk the kids to school without discouraging them more by making them walk further than they have too. All credit by the way to the mums and dads that do walk their offspring to school.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: MB on March 31, 2008, 10:25:04 AM
I agree with others that it would not be a good idea to have a rear footpath to the Pound for all the reasons and concerns above, which will be known to anyone who went to the RBWM meetings about the Pound problems ten(?) years ago. The borough’s engineers and consultants spent a long time going through all suggestions and possibilities with Cookham people before a decision was made to slightly widen the pavement and put humps in. Not many residents liked the idea of humps, but I think that anyone who can remember what the traffic was like before this would agree that they have worked, as they have calmed the traffic and made the road much safer.

Apart from all these other considerations (and even if there was a suitable gap between properties, which there definitely isn’t) Mr. Copas would almost certainly want some sort of deal as well as loads of money and would see this arrangement as having a foot in the door for development. We can’t afford to take that risk if we want to preserve Poundfield and the rest the land he owns in Cookham, including Marsh Meadow

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Archimedes on March 31, 2008, 10:25:50 AM
I remember when the Maidenhead Road ended as a T junction. Wasn't it Copas who paid for it to be changed into a mini roundabout? This then created the rat run through the Pound.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Douglas Bay on March 31, 2008, 10:26:47 AM
The absurd suggestion of moving the Moor Car Park from its present position into Marsh Meadow (and into the flood plane!) behind the Fire Station serves as a timely reminder of the land ownership involved.
The car park currently stands on National Trust land whilst the proposed move would take it onto land owned/managed by Copas Farms. Just an observation!
And the bizarre suggestion of eventually routing the access road to/from said new car park site through Berries Road makes it all the more absurd! Exiting Berries Road is problem enough at the best of times ... adding a further 60 plus cars to that problem certainly defies belief!

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Cookham driver on March 31, 2008, 10:27:59 AM
That is interesting, Archimedes. So the sooner we get the mini-roundabout changed back to a difficult T junction, the better, it would seem. This will really put off the rat runners from Maidenhead and hopefully send them elsewhere, as they wouldn't want to get into a big queue in Maidenhead Road each morning.

We have clearly been far too accommodating to traffic using Cookham as a rat run and, as a deterrent, need to make the Pound and Village a very unpleasant place to approach from the Maidenhead direction. Perhaps it will send a lot more cars over Maidenhead Bridge, rather than crossing the river at Cookham, and we should ban all very large vehicles and double decker buses from Pound, Village and Bridge at the same time.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Madenhead Driver on March 31, 2008, 10:29:15 AM
Cookham Driver, I have an even better idea. Why don't we just put a hermetically sealed bubble around Cookham blocking it off totally from the outside world?

Like it or not, the road through Cookham is a logical and legitimate route from Furze Platt and the Gringer Hill areas of Maidenhead into Bourne End and Marlow. It's not a rat run.

Turning the roundabout into a T junction is just a ridiculous idea. Ah, but in your head it would only affect travellers coming from Maidenhead, so that's OK. Imagine the traffic jams up past the station and over the Moor every time there was an accident, as there surely would be.

As for banning large lorries and double deckers, fine. I wonder how the pubs in the village will get their deliveries, how the shops will get fresh food in, how the garage will get its fuel delivered? Perhaps all the villagers can stand in a line and pass supplies in hand-to-hand?

And if people have to travel by bus, tough. They don't have a car so they don't have a say. The double deckers can be replaced by single deckers, which cuts capacity, which further inconveniences public transport travellers. Never mind - no car, no say.

I still think there should be more buses on the road. There should definitely be school buses for all the Cookham schools. Then you would definitely see a reduction in traffic.

Deliveries to shops, pubs etc should be banned between 8 am and 10 am and 3 pm to 6 pm. One large lorry in Cookham High Street at rush hour can cause traffic jams backing down past the Moor. If deliveries have to be made, make them in smaller vehicles. Don't say it won't work, I have seen in work in on the continent.

We could even go totally mad and introduce a toll for non-Pound Resident's vehicles going through the Pound. I bet you would be screaming for a Poundfield Road then. Or a charge for all the large 4x4s. If you are a 4x4 owner with a driveway and access, you pay the charge. If you need a 4x4 due to country living, you don't.

The alternative is that you accept that you live in a village with a though road, which I bet was there when you bought your house, and live with it.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Archimedes on March 31, 2008, 10:30:03 AM
Maidenhead Driver, I remember the same being said about Burchetts Green being the obvious route, until the residents did something about it. Cookham is a rat run, the Pound is empty during the day, Cookham is paying for Maidenhead drivers because Maidenhead has not got their road infrastructure sorted out. The Pound is not the place to have as a through way from Maidenhead to Bourne End/Wycombe etc. The Village needs a by-pass ideally.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Madenhead Driver on March 31, 2008, 10:30:51 AM
See, Burchetts Green is not the easiest or quickest way for me to get to Bourne End, Cookham is.

A rat run is defined as a way to avoid bad traffic or busy roads. Cookham obviously isn't that - it's the most obvious way from A to B for me. The reason the Pound is empty during the day is kids aren't going to school, drivers aren't going to work. Do a driver survey and I bet the vast majority of drivers aren't rat-running.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: bazza on March 31, 2008, 10:31:36 AM
M.Driver has some valid points, especially limiting large lorry deliveries to outside the rush hours. Perhaps all large lorries should be for deliveries only, the rest can use the Marlow bypass. That's yet another idea not even considered by the discredited Traffic & Transport group.

But M.D. we just don't need double decker buses here clogging up our narrow lanes and stressing the bridge. It's ridiculous, especially in these energy saving times. I never see one carrying more than a handful of passengers - I reckon a large family saloon would be more than enough!

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Madenhead Driver on March 31, 2008, 10:32:22 AM
bazza, I've thought about it and I agree about the double deckers. Perhaps more single deckers or minibuses running more frequently. An integrated transport system would be better. I thought that double deckers only ran on the Wycombe route which isn't served by trains from Cookham.

Another thing is the waste lorries. A better system of recycling would cut down on the huge waste lorries going through the village. It would mean more pickups, maybe three a week, but if the bin vans are the size of transit vans then it cuts down on the congestion.

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: bazza on March 31, 2008, 10:33:09 AM
Maidenhead Driver we should form a new Transport Working Group, I reckon we could sort it all out in no time. But we wouldn't be chosen because a) we aren't landowners who'd make a killing b) we aren't in the chairman's lodge!

Title: Re: cookham plan meeting
Post by: Fiona Beaumont on March 31, 2008, 10:33:57 AM
In response to my letter published in the Maidenhead Advertiser last week, I received this morning a letter from Geoffey Copas. Firstly, I am impressed that he has taken the time and trouble to find my details and put pen to paper in a very courteous manner.

Secondly, he has pointed out that he has never proposed a road across Poundfield. In fact, he has supported the southern bypass option as one to be explored. It seems that the idea of a walkway across the back of the Pound was proposed by his family in the past and was rejected by the Cookham Plan Steering Group. Therefore, as with most concerned residents, I think that is where we should be focusing our energies and I apologise to the Copas family if, by implication, the facts stated were incorrect.

And by the way, I do NOT now work for the Copas family, have free use of grazing, have been sent a turkey…….