A number of retail outlets in the High Street have recently put up window posters asking people to “save out high street”. They are asking people to sign one or two petitions. One aimed at disputing new car parking charges, the other being against the widening of pavements to the East end of the High Street.
I want to save out high street too but, not the way these “business” people, encouraged by the Community Council are doing it.
The original proposals for car parking charges were that the first 30 minutes would be free, that’s now up to 45 minutes, so you have longer to do your shopping and there would be a regular turn over of vehicles. If you can’t do your shopping in under 45 minutes you need to stop chatting to all and sundry I do mine in less than that and I don’t use a car! I walk into the High Street, most others a capable of doing the same. Some could cycle but they need better provision for leaving their bikes. Also, I want the High Street to become car free with the provision that delivery vehicles could service the shops without the current hassle they experience from inappropriate parking. The future requires us to give up private transport and make it easier and more pleasant for people to get around.
As for the east end of the High Street, there has long been proposals to pedestrianise this area. It is quite narrow in parts, the pavements are not wide enough, they are single file only, there are times when you have to go onto the roadway to get past people looking at shop windows, past a wheelchair or a buggy. Which means stepping into traffic. As part of the “streets for people” initiative during the pandemic big street planters were placed at right angles to the road way, narrowing the road width, preventing car parking. It give more space for people to walk. More recently these planters have been moved parallel to the pavement, closer to the pavement and car users have found space to park making it difficult for pedestrians to move past other people safely. I want the pavements made wider, I want cars restricted at this end as a a first stage to banning cars altogether. Only delivery vehicles should be allowed in this area.
I am against the “save our high street” scheme, I think it’s wrong, misguided, and takes no account of our future needs to move away from fossil fuels.