Last year you may remember the 2 street cleaning sessions we held along the Finchampstead Road. Over time detritus builds up on pavements narrowing them, and in the case of this section of Finchampstead Road, it was no longer possible for a wheelchair to pass along the full length of the path. We held 2 community events to clear the detritus and widen the footpath.
The issue of footpaths narrowed due to encroachment has been a problem for a long while, but with Covid and the need to distances ourselves from others, it’s become even more of a problem. The council is working to get as many pavements cleared back as possible, particularly around schools now that children have returned. However, years of neglect means this is a big task.
We were hoping that the footpath outside Evendon’s Primary School woodland play area would be cleared of detritus prior to school resuming last week, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Active travel infrastructure in the vicinity is poor anyway, so getting this pavement cleared was a priority.
As such, 3 of us decided to grab a wheelbarrow, some shovels and our gardening gloves, and after 3 hours of pretty tiring work, cleared back to the edge of the pavement from the crossing to the school gate. We put the waste into some sacks that I was able to grab from one of the Localities officers at the council and one of the council’s contractors will collect in the morning. The sun was shining though and we feel proud of a good morning’s work.
If there are other pavements in the area that are suffering from encroachment, this is the place to report it on the council website https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/roadworks-and-outdoor-maintenance/street-cleaning/. Alternatively, if you fancy having a go yourself (and with a couple of other people, it’s a good laugh – promise), just let your local councillor know to arrange some sacks and collection of the sacks. They can also provide high-vis jackets and put you in touch with someone who can help with any health and safety concerns.
For this particular stretch of road, the council is also planning to put some temporary chicanes outside the school in order to slow the traffic down. The implementation of these will happen very soon once all the signage has arrived.
Now for a long hot soak in the tub!