Business as usual for town centre

PUBLISHED: 13:56 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 31 May 2010

THE closure of George Street is undoubtedly affecting the town and its businesses. As a member of the public I am saddened to see how quiet the town is, with so few shoppers. However, the work on the culvert, which needs doing, has now started and, howeve

THE closure of George Street is undoubtedly affecting the town and its businesses. As a member of the public I am saddened to see how quiet the town is, with so few shoppers.

However, the work on the culvert, which needs doing, has now started and, however inappropriate people may feel the timing, notification or preparation may be, we now have to accept and deal with this.

There is no change to the parking in the town and the diversions do not need to dissuade people from shopping here.

Driving in from the A11 direction, all that is needed is to turn left into Castle Street and to turn right at the end to head down the side of the Common.

Or, with the exception of market days on Tuesdays and Saturdays, to turn left into King Street and turn right in the Market Square.

Although signposted diversions the other side of the traffic lights (Audley End side of town) take drivers on a longer route, a simpler version is to go through the traffic lights and turn right into the two roads mentioned above.

We need to let non-residents of the town, who may not be as familiar with all the roads, know these are simple routes to take and there is no need for them to avoid the town.

As long as delivery drivers along the High Street are considerate and adhere to the 'Keep Clear' areas, this should cause minimal inconvenience.

In addition, there needs to be clearer signposting to the shops from Swan Meadow car park, as well as to the car park itself, to make it easy for people less familiar with the area to find the town centre.

Free parking won't bring back shoppers to the town, but an awareness of what is happening and not Chinese whispers of how horrific the traffic and parking situation might be, will.

There will inevitably be a slight inconvenience to drivers during the works, but it does not need to be more than that.

We all need to advertise that it is business as usual in Saffron Walden and shout loudly and positively to encourage everyone to continue using and shopping in the town.

I would hate to see any

of our great individual shops have to close and I'm sure most readers will feel the same, so come on everyone - keep shopping in Saffron Walden - it has everything you need for Christmas and is still completely accessible.

Catherine Kelly

Saffron Walden resident

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