Sorry, but town centre never looks like it's going to win

PUBLISHED: 15:32 28 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

I HAVE every sympathy with the shopkeepers in the town centre, but it is surely evident that the whole pattern of shopping is changing. When we first came to the area 30 years ago Royston shops, as in many towns, closed at 5pm or 5.30pm, had a half-day ea

I HAVE every sympathy with the shopkeepers in the town centre, but it is surely evident that the whole pattern of shopping is changing.

When we first came to the area 30 years ago Royston shops, as in many towns, closed at 5pm or 5.30pm, had a half-day early closing day, were often shut Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday.

That was often necessary for the small businesses if they were to enjoy a break, but now the population is told it needs to shop 24/7 and Tesco, in common with other superstores, offers that facility with almost non-stop opening and, what is more, free and capacious parking facilities.

It sometimes seems that if you stop in Royston for a moment a traffic warden descends on you.

There are opportunities to park without charge if one is patient, but these are few and far between and sometimes necessitate a longish walk which is of no use to the less able.

The parking charges are excessive, but I have recently visited other towns where the car parks in the town centres are free and are packed.

Sorry Royston, but while Tesco offers a huge range of goods and long opening hours and free parking then you are never going to win.

COLIN LIMMNG

Chapmans Close, Melbourn

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