Putting the pedestrians first

THERE have been three encouraging letters on these pages in the last two weeks – all to do with the parking changes in Front Street, Tynemouth.

What was encouraging was that all three mentioned the idea of pedestrianisation.

I applaud that view. I think it’s time that we realised that private cars do not make town centres thrive – they just clog them up.

I live and work in Whitley Bay, having a shop in Victoria Terrace, so I will keep out of the Tynemouth debate and restrict my remarks to Whitley Bay town centre.

That town centre is not thriving, as we all know, and I believe it’s time we considered changing the nature of that area.

I am advocating that, as a start, we pedestrianise the section of Whitley Road from its junction with Victoria Terrace to its junction with Park Avenue.

I know this was tried before and quickly dropped after objections from some traders.

But I believe we should give it another go and make more of an effort to ensure it is a success.

It has been suggested to me, by a councillor, that the area should be turned into a town square.

Kerbs should be removed, more trees planted, and pots with shrubs and flowers should be introduced.

Make it a green haven in the centre of town.

It could be used as a meeting place or even as the site of a weekly market.

Bands could be invited to play and entertainment events could be organised.

What happens to the buses?

They could be re-routed through York Road and I believe there would be a need for bus stops to be moved to York Road.

I realise it’s a narrow road, but if it’s not too late, a lay-by could be installed in front of the new joint service centre and library so that buses could stop there.

Great efforts are being made to refurbish the Spanish City area and we need to match that in the town centre.

There will inevitably be objections from traders and motorists, but I believe we should put pedestrians first for a change.

Let’s make it a pleasure to stroll round the town centre.

MALCOLM SCOTT

The Recycling Shop

Victoria Terrace

Whitley Bay