Letters to the editor - October 26

Safety at sea

I have been jet sking off Clevedon for many years and have been a member of the sailing club. I have also taken part in the annual long swim with my son and run survival courses on Flat Holm.

The coast and sea is for everyone to enjoy responsibly and safely. Unfortunately a swimmer will always come off worst in a collision, be it with a jet ski, canoe, sailing boat, windsurfer, the Waverley, a pebble thrown from the beach, or the heavy lead weights cast - sometimes hundreds of times per day - by the fishermen fishing from the pier.

Swimmers making themselves more visible would be helpful. Ladye Bay would be a far safer place to swim, as would the Salthouse swimming lake.

Swimmers seem to have a wonderful time out in all weathers keeping fit. The number of them has increased over the years and I take my hat off to them but, for the same reasons, I choose to jet ski.


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A compromise could be that a barrier could stop access to the launching ramp. Users would have to show insurance etc and be reminded of the rules and safety when using the area. Then acess could be given during a window of time for watersports. Anyone disobeying the rules would not be allowed access in the future. Swimmers would have their own daily times to enjoy the sea.

This story has been running for many years and it’s about time a solution was found.

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NICK GOUGH

Castleview Road, Clevedon

Yellow lines

I WRITE with reference to Harbour Road and the issue of yellow lines.

I hate yellow lines and there is no need for them all along Harbour Road. Cars can pass three abreast by a country mile.It’s the campaigners for yellow lines who stop and cause the traffic jams.

However I must say that double yellow lines are desperately needed 50m either side of the Waitrose junction and the first 50m at the Station Road end of Harbour Road.

DAVE FITZPATRICK

Station Road, Portishead

Short-sighted

It was with both horror and disgust that I read that North Somerset Council is considering the introduction of on-street car parking charges in local towns.

As a resident and businessman in Portishead I feel compelled to write and object to such disgraceful means of raising money. Money which, no doubt, will subsequently be spent in Weston.

To introduce car parking fees within the town of Portishead would deter local folk from shopping in the High Street and consequently stifle local businesses and the town of its well established identity.

It is handy to be able to park so close to the High Street and it is not handy to have to feed a meter with loose change that you have to fumble round for. That would be just another inconvenience for people who already have busy lives and need to consider every penny they spend.

One of the main reasons for such a flourishing High Street in Portishead is the fact that people can park for free, have ready access to the High Street and not feel that their time shopping and socialising is restricted by a parking meter.

It is hard enough for local shops to keep running and serving the local community in this current financial climate and this is exacerbated by the extortionate business rates already forced upon us by the council. We are providing the community with a heart to their town and by introducing parking fees the council will start to drain the town of life itself.

I remember when the Co-op was first built and it tried to charge for car parking. It wasn’t long before it listened to the people of Portishead and realised what a mistake it was. To the Co-op’s credit, it immediately withdrew the idea and therefore continued to attract people to the area. The business is working extremely well and it provides a service to the town which feeds off the fact that there is free car parking so close to the High Street.

I am sure that such sentiments will be echoed in Clevedon and Nailsea , whose residents and traders will also feel aggrieved at such mind numbing plans.

It is extremely short-sighted of the council to consider this option. Surely its duty is to improve the local towns and communities, not to detract from them.

NIGEL COSSHAM

The Card Shop,

High Street, Portishead

Take a note

I AM writing in response to Mr Berridge’s letter regarding Dr Liam Fox.

I had cause to contact Dr Fox earlier in the year about a local situation, and on my behalf he contacted the people concerned and dealt with the situation to the best of his ability.

I would suggest Mr Berridge and anyone else who wants to vilify Dr Fox that they look to themselves and take a note out of the Bible which says ‘You who are without sin cast the first stone.’

VERONICA MILLS

Dawes Close, Clevedon

Thank you

May I put on record my grateful thanks to members of staff (and customers) of Iceland supermarket in Portishead for their prompt action in coming to my aid after I overbalanced and fell at the checkout on Saturday, October 22.

The staff members kindly sat me down, gave me a cup of tea, arranged for the home delivery of my shopping and ordered a taxi. How pleasant in this day and age to know that the good old British tradition of helping others is alive and well.

RON KNIGHT

Branscombe Walk,

Portishead

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