Gazette letters: Helicopters, phoning council and lorries

A police helicopter flies over London. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA IMAGES

A police helicopter flies over London. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA IMAGES - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

I am interested to learn if I am imagining things or whether there are really more helicopters overhead recently, writes Max Kalis, Barnsbury, full address supplied.

Has anyone else noticed the hovering thunder of helicopters increasing day and night over Barnsbury?

They seem to circle around in infuriating cycles, returning just as they seem to have gone away, exactly like mosquitoes.

What they’re all doing is a mystery. It’s as if the skies overhead have recently been designated as an aerial parking lot for helicopters.

Does anyone have any insights to share on this?

“Your call is held in a queue.” “Your call is important to us,” writes Martin Rutherford, Popham Estate, Islington

These are the new catchphrases of Islington Council.

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For over a week on six attempts to connect with Contact Islington I got this – each time giving up after 25 minutes.

I also wanted to report a repair.

On Thursday and Friday [August 16 and 17] I tried four times, spread throughout the day, never hanging up until waiting for 30 minutes.

On Tuesday [last week, August 21], it took three attempts, totalling nearly 90 minutes to get through.

I reported my repair and was told it would be Monday [this week, August 27]. I asked why.

“The timescale for the job, sir, is three days but because of the Bank Holiday an extra day is allowed.”

Gritted teeth, I said: “But if I’d got through on Friday I would have the repair this week.” “Yes, sir, that was unfortunate”.

Islington Council, please employ extra people to answer phones. The messages saying “for more information go to www...” have to be re-thought. Islington Council, please realise that not everyone wants to, or can, use a PC or device with the internet, or is able to afford it – so please use some of the massive diesel fines money to send out a printed booklet to every resident in Islington. Surely this is the least you can do to really show you care.

Or have printed copies available in housing offices, and at 222 Upper Street.

I will end this letter now as you are reading it at an exceptionally busy time, but your reading is important to me.

May we say how shocked we were to read that Dr Peter Fisher was killed by a heavy goods vehicle while cycling near his workplace in Holborn? write Flo and Ivor Kenna, Compton Street, Clerkenwell.

Dr Fisher was an outstanding doctor in a leading role at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine in Great Ormand Street, itself a centre of excellence.

The Queen chose Dr Fisher as her physician because he was such an outstanding doctor.

Dr Fisher also found time to help ordinary patients at the RLHIM. Last week one of us met a lady who he cured of tennis elbow through acupuncture.

Dr Fisher’s use and advocacy of homeopathic medicine was more controversial. We have had some positive experiences of homeopathic treatment, which takes some time to take effect.

Heavy goods vehicles are alright on motorways.

However, they do not stop when they reach the boundaries of London.

They pound over London’s roads and streets that were never made for them. Under many of these roads and streets are water mains and other public utilities.

The damage done to a road or street by a vehicle is proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight of the vehicle.

For example, a vehicle with an axle weight 10 times the axle weight of another vehicle will do 10,000 times as much damage to the road, and what lies underneath, as the damage done by the other vehicle. Hence the continual occurrence of fractured water mains.

HGVs are dangerous and damaging.

They need to be replaced by container vehicles on railtracks, something like those that used to run into Somerstown Goods Depot, Smithfield Goods Depot, Bishopsgate Goods Depot, etc.

Increasing numbers of people rightly regard walking or cycling to work as healthful pursuits.

However, there is simply not enough room on or under London’s streets and roads for HGVs, other traffic, walkers, cyclists and water mains.