Reader letter: Shops struggle for other reasons

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So Maggie Throup brought in Boris Johnson to back her campaign for traffic on Bath Street, what a great plan.

Isn’t it bad enough that we have Long Eaton Tories interfering with the affairs of our town without bringing in someone who is responsible for traffic restrictions in London?

Putting traffic back on Bath Street will do nothing to revitalise shopping, I feel. Maggie Throup’s argument is that because the shops got more trade before pedestrianisation that putting traffic back is the solution. There are many reasons why trade has declined:

• The large Tesco at the bottom of Bath Street;

• The Waterside Retail Centre where parking is free and cleared of snow in the winter;

• Online shopping which was in its infancy at the time of pedestrianisation;

• Car park charging in town;

• The cost of business rents and rates in the town centre.

These are the main reasons for shops closing. Maybe Maggie Throup would be better to look at the problem from another angle and fight to reduce business rates. One idea might be to put a charge on empty properties, encouraging landlords to make rents more attractive.


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