Should Leamington's Parade be pedestrianised? More of your views on a long-running debate that has got people talking
Here are more of your views on the idea of keeping The Parade closed to main traffic after lockdown restrictions are lifted
We have previously reported that a Leamington town centre resident is launching a petition to bring about the permanent pedestrianisation of The Parade.
Hafeez Ahmed, of Binswood Avenue, says many of his neighbours have said they will support the petition which would lead to the town's centre's main shopping street becoming pedestrainised past lockdown and after Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
But many residents and businesses believe the idea would be a bad move for the town.
Click here to read our previous story on this.
At the beginning of the month, we printed two letters on this subject - click here to read them.
Here are some more of your letters you have sent into us - for and against - on this issue. Send your views to [email protected]
A VOICE AGAINST PEDESTRIANISATION
In last week’s article Dr Ahmed made it clear that, while many people he asked, were in favour of keeping the Parade permanently closed to traffic, there were others with the opposite view, of whom I am one like Paul O’Keefe.
Pedestrianisation works well where there is a maze of little streets, like York, but our Parade was built as a carriageway, so appears bleak and depressing. Without buses access is truly hard for the elderly,while we are all being urged to shop locally again once Covid restrictions are eased - our pavements are plenty wide enough for social distancing. Our mini-ring roads with all the parking permitted were never designed for the volume of (noisy!) traffic they now carry. while Warwick and Regent Streets have become unofficial car parks. All a disastrous mess.
Could we not compromise and allow buses only back in the Parade?
PEDESTRIANISATION IS THE WAY FORWARD
In the Courier and Weekly News, there was an article about Hafeez Ahmed, who is launching a petition to make the pedestrianisation of the The Parade permanent. Well done, Mr. Ahmed. I would like to support such a petition.
I have found shopping there a far more pleasant experience than previously, and I know a few people from other towns who would make an effort to come to Leamington to enjoy shopping in a traffic-free environment. This could help revive our town centre.
CLOSURE OF THE PARADE IS A BAD IDEA
Closure of Parade is a bad idea
Re closing the Parade. I think people have forgotten the traffic gridlock caused by the closing for roadworks of any of the main routes through Leamington. Closing the Parade permanently would cause mayhem in Dale Street, and Willes Road to name a few.
The closure is nice at the moment because there’s very little traffic.
I hope the council think very hard before looking at petition’s to close it permanently.
GOOD IDEA - BUT THE PARADE SHOULD BE CLEARLY SEGREGATED
Sir – on the pedestrianisation of the Parade:
It is exciting to see that there is a yearning for change in town, that the pandemic has indeed made us all think about better ways to go about our lives – pun intended. We clearly need spaces where we can breathe, where we can feel safe, and where we can avoid (frequently unconscious) stress. Town centres, where we tend to spend significant amounts of time, should indeed become such spaces: safe and accessible for the less abled (and not all disabilities are visible!) and for children; bringing together practicality, culture and inspiration for healthier, better living; allowing us all to enjoy time there. These altogether will bring in business, as indeed studies have proven so. We do need to ensure that the town centre can be reached by public transport, on foot and by bike. The change on the Parade should enthuse people to move, to be active – be it cycling 1.6miles (10min) from Whitnash or walking 300 yards from a shop to a bus stop (with the help of a kind stranger, if needed, as used to be the norm). However, the street should be clearly segregated (as it used to be in times when cars were going up and down) with cycles, mobility scooters and pedestrians having their designated areas.
THINK TWICE BEFORE CLOSING THE PARADE
Much care needs to be taken and further thought and research carried out before finally deciding to close all of The Parade permanently. Particularly inconvenient, for example, would be the closure of Warwick St and Regent St as the main east/west ‘cross town’ routes.
Maybe try opening those roads up again and just exclude traffic from the stretch of The Parade from Warwick St up to Clarendon Avenue?
Towns like Gloucester, Bournemouth and Norwich have discovered what a deadening effect pedestrianisation can be on their city centres, particularly at night, which has also increased the level of crime in those areas.