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Photo #191693

[Image taken 3.3.23] Burton Stone Lane, York. On 3.3.23 residents around Burton Stone Lane received the letter in this image. I contains wording I can’t recall seeing in another such communication. I was very pleased to see it. I consider the wording - good practice. (Compare with: #191779.) It provides context. It specifically mentions – and therefore includes - people who walk and cycle in the area. It proactively offers assistance to people who might need it. Thirty-three per cent of households in Clifton ward, which Burton Stone Lane runs through, do not have access to a motor vehicle according to the 2021 census (see: #190613). People who do have a car or van may assume everyone else is like them. I would like the stats. One quarter of all York households do not have access to a motor vehicle, plus that for relevant wards, to be included in consultations, letters such as this one, and provided to the organisations involved. In this instance the company surveying the damage to the road surface, marking it up and repairing it. In this way, all involved understand why the measures are important. I hope providing insight into other people’s lives and needs will foster tolerance and understanding.
The letter had a name at the end – it was not anonymous as so many official communications are. There was a contact phone number (oddly not a mobile or a York one but a London geographical number) and an email address. In short, there are contact details and it is easy to find them.
Providing a name makes it feel more personal and as if the offer of help is genuine.
A map was also provided. This was a waste of resources as it was illegible. The type was too small as was the map. I, for one, could not work out the area being resurfaced. The idea was sound but the execution a failure. The letter could have included the street names of the area works area: Burton Stone Lane between Crichton Avenue and Shipton Street.
Searching on the phone number led me to: That was also signed and had the same phone number. It doesn’t mention non motorised users but the wording is also proactive.
I think giving a name, the tone of the letter and the statement: “I will be monitoring the works on site, but should you wish to discuss this work in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at the email address or telephone number provided above.” will have provided confidence and reassurance to people who might have been unsettled or worried by news of the works that they can seek help.
Streets and roads enable people to get to the places they need and want to. Where people live the journeys can be very local, to buy food, provide help, to receive assistance, to visit friends, for example. I think the letter in the image and the one in the link show the named person/the employing and/or contracting organisation recognises streets are for people not simply motor vehicles. The wording of the letter in my image recognises change can cause distress. It shows the concerns or the reality can be ameliorated by offering assistance - not by simply saying: We have decided this is what’s needed. We’re doing in on these dates. So lump it’.
Other images today: #191694, #191695.

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