More restrictions declared
In my post of December 11th, I reported how a decision to impose traffic restrictions on the streets close to
Protest, but probably in vain
When I talked later to Paul, the city centre manager, he seemed to think that implementation of the order was inevitable as this would bring it into line with nearby Queen Street, which is mostly shops, with few pubs and restaurants open evenings. They cope with restrictions, why not our small side-streets? Well, our little quarter of town has more small businesses, more to lose by access restrictions for their clientele. Our little quarter gives out on to
Dependable evolution or risky revolution?
The Grand Plan for the re-ordering and development of the city centre, of which these traffic rearrangements are part, has been put into place more by determined promotion than by adequate consultation, whatever efforts politicians and local government officers think they have made. It’s not easy to ensure everyone is in the picture and shares in the debate. It’s the biggest challenge of any society, not to alienate citizens, but to succeed in hearing and responding to their concerns. Our church neighbours at Tabernacl Baptist will suffer badly when the SDII centre is up and running and they can’t get proper access to their building. I suppose those in power think of what they impose on others as ‘leadership’. They’ll be praised and thanked if such massive costly initiatives finally work, but with the changing economic climate, the risks taken in such a huge project may not be justifiable. We could end up with an under-used and under performing shopping centre, oversized for what it can achieve in the light of competition from the out of town shopping centres springing up everywhere across the region. Nobody wants that. It’s such a pity that a more evolutionary and adaptative approach to redeveloping the city centre wasn’t taken, as opposed to a vastly ambitious ‘quantum leap’ project, affecting so many people – as did the SDI development thirty years ago which emptied the city centre of its ‘urban village’ population. It’s a pity so little attention has been paid to improving the road system to handle the flows of traffic for big events, and for shopping access. No matter how wonderful the imposed future of shopping in