Food for thought over car-free town centres

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From: Malcolm Naylor, Grange View, Otley.

THE Otley Food Festival, held on Sunday, July 27, was a wonderful demonstration of how our town centres could be if motor traffic was excluded and returned to the people, not just for one day but permanently.

A section of Boroughgate was closed to traffic, creating a wonderful relaxing environment to enjoy. People and children could amble in leisure without fear of injury and delays by having to cross roads. Towns should have the same traffic free status as parks.

I have observed similar change in atmosphere in Ilkley when roads are closed and it was particularly noticeable when Le Tour was here. Cars are like a drug and it is time we learned to limit our use of them. Especially in towns.

For some considerable time, I have advocated the closure of Otley town centre to vehicles but it has fallen on deaf ears. However, councillors I have talked to enthuse over the prospect, so why is this not done? Please can we have a response from them to make this possible?

Towns are for people. Not motor vehicles and if other similar towns can do it why not Otley and Ilkley? The whole atmosphere of our two towns changes when roads are closed so why not make these closures permanent?