After seeing yet another plea from an independent business in Huddersfield to help them survive (the 3rd this year that I know of), hearing complaints and comments from customers regarding the bus gates and noticing a distinct decrease in footfall myself I have drafted this letter to Kirklees Council.
Dear Kirklees Council,
I wish to congratulate you on improving the road system outside my shop in the Byram Arcade and installing the bus gates on main routs into the Town Centre. The old road network made it far too easy for my customers to park close to my shop then, after ladening themselves with goods, equally easy to depart from the area.
Now it is impossible for them to leave the area with anything approaching convenience. There are however things to entertain them while waiting in the queue of traffic trickling out of the town centre, I have seen quite a few altercations where drivers have left their idling vehicles to physically confront other drivers for not been courteous enough to let them in. Even so, and I can appreciate the council’s foresight here as far fewer customers are coming into town, thus saving the newly laid tarmac from being worn out too quickly.
The real added bonus is I now have much more time to relax or simply drift off to sleep until hometime arrives, when I have to venture forth into the traffic or, by choice, walk home as I do prefer to arrive there before bedtime.
Joking aside, there is a serious point to my letter. Since the road layout has been altered I have noticed a drop off in trade that is serious enough to concern me on a daily basis. From the outset I failed to see what was so wrong with the roads that meant Kirklees Council had to spend a huge sum of council tax and business ratepayer’s money only to make getting to and from the area around the Byram Arcade very much more frustrating than before. I would have advocated a more motorist friendly policy with better parking and maybe even park & ride schemes to encourage shoppers into the town, boosting businesses and thus council coffers.
As far as I can see there is a severe lack of reasoning ability in the highways department. How is it possible to devise and execute such an appalling scheme whereby highway users now waste enormous amounts of time and fuel, as well as generating so much pollution, while their vehicles tick over endlessly in neutral gear. It only makes sense if the real purpose was to deter people from using their cars at all but, as already stated, this is a policy that will only lead to more failed businesses and empty shops in Huddersfield unless viable alternatives are made readily available.
If you have been affected by the ‘new and improved’ Huddersfield Town Centre road system, as a shopper, business or driver then come to Crafty HQ or any Town Centre shop where you see this poster to sign the petition to get them removed.
You’ve all rallied well to try to save our A&E, now do your bit to help to save our Town Centre from becoming a ghost town, full of even more £1 shops, bookies and pasty shops and keep local businesses thriving!