So Mr Laycock does not want me. (Letters, October 29)
But I have been a visitor to Harrogate since I was a child (1971) and in fact even spent my honeymoon here (1993). Why?
1) Superb walking in Nidderdale and Wharfedale.
2) So many attractive places to visit eg Knaresborough, Ripon and Wetherby.
3) Excellent shops and service (especially HMV).
4) Wonderful places to eat, out of which my favourite are the Palm Court Cafe above Farrars on Montpellier Hill and Kinara on Cheltenham Crescent (which I have frequented since 1996).
5) Great guest houses to stay at (thanks Chris and Roy at The Dales).
Although Harrogate drivers are the most courteous in the county - I have no problems crossing The Stray - you do have a congestion problem. Cold Bath Road and Station Parade in particular are frighteningly busy.
This problem will not be solved by wrecking the area behind the Mercer and beside the old Town Hall.
As Mr Neesam says (page 24) Harrogate needs to preserve its heritage. This area should be an extension of Valley Gardens and the much needed toilets retained.
There is an easy way to solve your congestion problem - a park and ride scheme which the excellent Transdev and Connexions could jointly serve. It works in York and here in Scarborough.
Also I would recommend a well designed footbridge for Station Parade as the existing traffic lights are defective.
Please do not try to deter me, Mr Laycock.
I intend to be a visitor to Harrogate until I walk off this mortal coil.
Scholes Park Road, Scarborough