Letter: Make decisions based on facts

Quiet Harrogate town centre during lockdown.Quiet Harrogate town centre during lockdown.
Quiet Harrogate town centre during lockdown.
John Rowe from Harrogate thinks a decisions needs to be made based on the facts.

I would like to respond to the misinformed letter from Alfred Penderel Bright (letters, May 28). He seems to be a victim of the popular myth that car parking is the only driver of trade at local businesses and cyclists on their “precious bikes” don’t generally do much shopping.

In fact evidence from towns and cities around the world tells a very different story:

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- Surveys have shown that retailers dramatically over-estimate the number of customers who arrive by car.

- Towns and cities with good, joined up infrastructure for walking and cycling also show that while people on foot buy less per shop than motorists, they actually buy more overall, i.e. they shop more often because it is convenient.

- And lastly, these towns and cities have seen business growth of around 20 per cent in businesses close to where good quality cycle and walking infrastructure has been installed.

Businesses in those towns, once they understand the reality rather than the myth, end up competing to be on the cycle routes or to have the cycle parking placed close by.

Let’s hope the BID and our councils make decisions based on the facts rather than myths and we see our town prospering again.