Our town will survive - despite council decisions

PUBLISHED: 11:42 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

I HAVE been following with interest the editorial and debates in The Crow over parking, business and housing developments in Royston. The parking issue particularly appears to have brought everything to a head. Since my family moved here in 1998, Royston

I HAVE been following with interest the editorial and debates in The Crow over parking, business and housing developments in Royston. The parking issue particularly appears to have brought everything to a head. Since my family moved here in 1998, Royston has "growd like Topsy" and changed in many ways - not necessarily for the better - but it is unrealistic to try to compare Royston's unique situation with other towns and cities in the area. It does appear that decisions made at North Herts District Council seem detached and out of step with the needs of Royston's residents, and those who visit regularly. If our High Street included many chain stores and maybe a cinema or theatre, it could be considered fair to charge "big town" rates, but the majority of our local businesses are small and run by sole traders who need every citizen's support in order to flourish and parking charges, if any, should reflect that. However, I do not believe that Royston will ever become a "ghost town". All the while it has a vibrant industrial base, good transport links and a hard-working core of groups and individuals who provide business, leisure and recreation for the whole community it will survive and thrive. In an ideal world it should not be unreasonable to expect the district council to allocate revenue proportionately, but if it has to find an income for the latest multi-million pound make-over of its home town it's got to come from somewhere. Maybe it will be Royston's turn next and we can have a cinema complex, flumes at the leisure centre, bookshops, nice loos, Marks & Spencer. I suppose the parking charges would really have to go up then. Mrs A GIRLING Mounteagle Royston - TO blame the lack of custom in Royston's shops on parking fees is a bit simplistic. Saffron Walden has fees that are 45 per cent higher than Royston's, yet every Saturday the car parks are full and the shops are buzzing with trade. The fact is that there is a much better range of shops and a better market. But perhaps the strongest reason is that there is a quality supermarket, Waitrose, right in the middle of town. This draws trade into the centre and all shopkeepers benefit. I am curious to know why your correspondents who are Royston residents, don't walk in to town to do their shopping. If they are disabled or infirm then that is highly understandable, but everybody else? Their grandparents would not have given a thought to a two or three-mile round trip to the shops on foot. The fact is that Royston gave up the struggle with Tesco long ago: Tesco is now Royston town centre. If residents really feel strongly about the decay of their town centre they should join the growing national movement and boycott Tesco. C PARTRIDGE Victoria Crescent Royston - I NOTE that two out of three correspondents in The Crow are not directly local. Towns such as Royston need visiting shoppers as well as locals. We have shopped there for four years until caught for a seven-minute parking overstay due to a brief shop queue. I had driven to Royston for a one-hour stay - from South Cambridgeshire - which shows that we value the independent trader. Not any more. I will put more of my shopping on the internet where I will quickly recover my costs. Councils need to realise that people are far more mobile, have many more choices and will not tolerate demands for revenue-raising amounts for parking in their towns. We will not be back. Mr and Mrs LE GRAND Haslingfield

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