As local residents we strongly support local businesses especially at this challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, encouraging walking and cycling can boost local businesses: those who walk or cycle to a high street not only visit the high street more often but also spend 40% more than those who drive. And there are over 3,000 households that are around a 10 minute walk from our shopping streets. Already we are seeing that many more people are walking in the LTN area.
Some local businesses have been asked by those who oppose the LTN trial to display posters showing opposition to the LTN trial. We don’t ask local businesses to take sides in this issue, or to put a pro poster in their shop window. We understand that the best policy for a business is to be neutral and seek the maximum number of customers from the whole community. We want to support our local businesses to have strong trading and success and we look forward to continuing to support our local shops and businesses as customers in the months and years ahead. We have encouraged our pro LTN supporters to keep visiting local businesses irrespective of there being a negative poster on display.
It is particularly disappointing that a few local politicians claim the LTN has been responsible for a downturn in trade. The much more likely reason is that people have changed their shopping patterns because of Covid-19. The lack of foresight by these same politicians means that the pavements are too narrow for safe passage at 2m distance.
If we want to see a much more dynamic and friendly Triangle, then we need to make our streets more attractive – more space for people and less for cars.