Why free parking is the only way to save town centres like Harrogate – Yorkshire Post letters

From: Andrew Goodacre, CEO, British Indepedent Retailers Association (BIRA).

Should towns like Harrogate introduce free parking to boost trade.

I AM aware that retailers in Harrogate have started a campaign for free parking in Harrogate. Many of these retailers are members of BIRA and we are supporting this important local campaign.

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We all know that the high street in suffering throughout the UK with shopping habits changing for good due the development of online shopping. However, traditional retail can compete with the right support to ‘level the playing field’. Price is not the only reason for purchasing online – it is as much to do with the convenience of the purchase and the delivery of that product.

There are calls for free parking to be introduced in Yorkshire towns like Harrogate - do you agree?

It is clear that Harrogate, despite its strong demographics and local wealth, is not immune from the pressures on the high street with an increased number of empty properties. Implementing a more consumer-friendly approach to parking would a sensible option alongside their other ambitions to improve Harrogate as a destination.

Without retailers, and especially independent retail, Harrogate will lose some of its appeal. I was lucky enough to live in Harrogate for 16 years and I know that diversity of the retail experience is part of the reason to visit.

I now live near Leamington Spa – a very similar town to Harrogate. Interestingly, in response to calls to support the high streets, Leamington has just introduced free parking initiatives and footfall is increasing.

Traditional retailers need people. More importantly, towns need people to create the atmosphere and vibrancy – key elements in makng any visit for any reason far more enjoyable.

From: Mike Hammond, Harrogate.

I HAVE read with interest the various comment relating to the proposed relief road/bypass which is needed as part of the congestion issue in Harrogate. Most of what I have read is negative. To me the answer is straight forward. Yes, build the road in the most appropriate place but put it in a tunnel just as they did at Hindhead in Surrey.

The Hindhead bypass was built in a tunnel.

The Hindhead Tunnel was constructed to improve road safety, reduce congestion and improve air quality. It is 1.14 miles long and takes the road beneath the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Doesn’t this exactly replicate what we are seeking?

Bring back British spirit

From: Geoffrey North, Guiseley, Leeds.

THE 27 EU countries export more to the UK than we export to them and any obstacles to continuing trade would hit them even harder. No doubt there will be some, hopefully short-term, disruption at the borders but it is in the interests of everyone to minimise it.

Programmes based on ‘one policy fits all’ do not take into account differing economies and local needs.

The dumbing down of national cultures in the interests of one huge European state may well fuel a swelling tide of national resentment.

Who can forecast when the EU will implode?

History has shown that the UK is blessed with a multitude of entrepreneurs who see problems and even threats as opportunities. Now will be the chance to let them loose, unfettered, on the world stage.

Let’s replace the negative attitude with a get-up-and-go spirit which has pervaded our great country for centuries.

We must tackle obesity crisis

From: Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair.

THERE is a growing body of evidence regarding the scale of the obesity problem in the UK.

While we are very much aware of the health risks associated with smoking, less effort has been thrown behind tackling obesity, which is now a major cause of cancer.

The Government is dragging its heels in introducing measures to restrict the advertising and promotion of unhealthy food and drink and, as such, we have reached an all-time high for childhood obesity.

The severity of this problem must not be underestimated. As well as the pressing need to raise public awareness of the worrying link between obesity and multiple types of cancer, we need to see a reversal of the cuts to public health funding so we can prevent children and adults reaching this critical stage. Failure to do so will continue to cost lives.

Can we cut bills and go green?

From: Neil Richardson, Kirkheaton.

NOVEMBER’S Energy and Clean Growth conference in Hull (The Yorkshire Post, July 3) will, quite reasonably, attract politicians, policy-makers, media specialists, and business figures.

The UK has apparently shown the world that ‘cutting emissions and prosperity can go hand in hand’.

Will the conference also show attendees how going green also cuts the total energy bill for government and taxpayers?

Spreading the largesse

From: Max Nottingham, St Faiths Street, Lincoln.

PERHAPS the rich BBC broadcasters could help the homeless and those using food banks (The Yorkshire Post, July 3). Some rich Americans are said to be helping the poor. It could just catch on, if not we just serve greed, not need.

From: B Murray, Grenoside, Sheffield.

PERHAPS we should ask the BBC to clean up its act before paying the licence fee!

Cyclists note Highway Code

From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.

HOW many cyclists have actually taken a test? Very few. How many of them have read the Highway Code? Discuss.