With video: Boris Johnson visits Ilkeston and supports opening up town centre to traffic

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, brought his big personality to Ilkeston on Thursday.

Accompanied by parliamentary candidate for Erewash, Maggie Throup, Boris visited town centre traders to find out what they thought would make the town thrive again.

Boris Johnson visits Ilkeston.

Boris Johnson visits Ilkeston.

He has supported Ms Throup’s campaign to open up Bath Street to traffic again.

He told the ‘Tiser: “Ilkeston looks absolutely lovely. I am here to support Maggie who has some fantastic ideas for Ilkeston. Maggie has been explaining what she thinks could happen. I was interested to hear the support of local shop keepers.”

Mr Johnson visited Harper and Finch where he was given some cuff links as a gift. He also visited U Choose smoothie bar where he admired the artwork.

Our picture shows Tiser reporter Sarah Bould, Boris Johnson, Maggie Throup and reporter Emma Page.

“It reminds me of changes they wanted to make in London to pedestrianise Oxford Street. What happens when you pedesetrianise is you lose the atmosphere and the hustle and bustle. That’s why we have always tried to keep some traffic going through town centres,”

He said that he thought it was a very ‘imaginative’ and ‘interesting’ idea. you don’t need to do radical things, little ideas can make a tremendous difference to an atmosphere.”

“This is a wonderful cafe, to have a cafe that sells art is great.”

Shop local is crucial because we face a big challenge. Small shops are trad places that can employ young people very easily and take on new staff. they r the motor of the economy and it would be a real tragedy if we lost our small shops.