Letter: Another major blow for retail

A deserted Harrogate town centre during lockdown.A deserted Harrogate town centre during lockdown.
A deserted Harrogate town centre during lockdown. | jpimedia
Alfred Penderel Bright from Dacre Banks thinks that lockdown proposals for Harrogate could be 'another major blow for Harrogate residents and retailers alike'.

Having read the leading article and the proposed parking plans/restrictions for Harrogate town centre post lockdown I simply must point out that these proposals, as outlined by Sara Ferguson and other like-minded and dare I say misguided individuals, will result in another major blow for Harrogate residents and retailers alike, similar in their dire economic consequences to the UCI cost of damage and lost turnover from the fiasco on West Park Stray.

With all the new housing developments, traffic volumes, noise, air pollution and congestion can only go one way and that’s up!

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Next consider that Harrogate Borough Council will have to increase parking charges or simply lose important revenue from fewer town centre parking spaces.

Then what about those small independent retailers who will see a dramatic reduction in footfall enough to put them out of business.

Pedestrians will be fed up in poor weather whereas they could previously park close by their chosen shops and will almost certainly shop online.

Cyclists don’t generally do much shopping on their precious bikes and in any case they have limited carrying capacity for bulk buying.

I can already imagine a “weeping and gnashing of teeth” from SME retailers when the proposed plans are discussed at the BID for the reasons stated above.