WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

You don’t need a car to shop

21 June, 2018

• THERE appears to be a breed of motorist who want to hark back to the days when they could rely on parking right by their destination.

Evidently John Douglas of Edinburgh is such a person, (The anti-car brigade have a lot to answer for with our high streets, June 14).

Sorry, our urban streets to not have enough capacity, either for moving or parked cars to support a car-based model of retailing. And the rest of us prefer shopping where we don’t have cars whizzing by every few seconds.

The many retail chains that have disappeared and are disappearing in recent times include some, for example Toys “R” Us, who do target the car-borne market, so lack of parking cannot be the sole issue.

The best solution to competition from car-based, out-of-town stores is a parking levy on superstores.

Why are (reusable) plastic bags seen as a major environmental menace when we ignore the huge cost of the air pollution, noise, congestion, climate change emissions and sprawl created by a car-based model of shopping?

At just 10 plastic bags to the car (I think 100 would be fairer) this would suggest a charge of 50p for superstore car parking, which would improve the competitive position of high street chains.

SIMON NORTON
Howitt Close, NW3

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