Re­verse the changes to Boots Cor­ner

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION - Alex Chalk

ENOUGH is enough. The clo­sure of Boots Cor­ner has been a se­ri­ous mis­take and it should be re­versed be­fore more dam­age is done.

I should be clear: I have never sup­ported this scheme.

Back in 2014 be­fore I was elected I ob­jected to it, say­ing that wrap­ping a tourni­quet round such a key ar­te­rial route would shunt traf­fic into res­i­den­tial rat-runs.

Many res­i­dents sup­ported that view and it was peo­ple power at a key meet­ing in the Town Hall that led the coun­cil to agree that the clo­sure should be tri­alled first. The orig­i­nal plan was to make it per­ma­nent.

The warn­ings is­sued by so many peo­ple have been proved right. Ev­ery day I am del­uged with com­plaints about the mis­ery it is caus­ing.

Nurses strug­gle to get across town to the hos­pi­tal or GPS’ surg­eries.

Mums have had to aban­don after­school classes for their chil­dren, be­cause they can’t get there in time.

St Ge­orge’s Street and the area around the bowl­ing green is reg­u­larly grid­locked, caus­ing dis­rup­tion for mo­torists and small busi­nesses like the Dance­works Stu­dios.

And that’s be­fore you fac­tor in the en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age of cars and lor­ries be­ing forced through res­i­den­tial roads. Only this week a head­teacher of a school met me to point out the huge in­crease in traf­fic nearby, mak­ing dropoffs more dan­ger­ous.

The jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for this scheme sim­ply don’t add up.

On air qual­ity there are four ar­eas in Chel­tenham which breach air qual­ity lim­its for ni­tro­gen diox­ide, in­clud­ing the junc­tion at Hales Road and Lon­don Road for ex­am­ple and have done since 2011. Boots Cor­ner isn’t one of them and never has been.

The cy­cling ar­gu­ment is also bo­gus, as buses and taxis still use the junc­tion.

Mean­while, the as­tro­turf is un­sightly and is only go­ing to get worse af­ter a few Satur­day nights.

Surely there are bet­ter ways to spend pre­cious tax­pay­ers’ money.

This has been a mis­take. The coun­cil should stop throw­ing good money af­ter bad.

It’s time to re­open Boots Cor­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.