HUNTINGDONSHIRE District Council officials diverted the guided bus away from central St Ives on Monday – after just 22 days of operation – to allow for about 20 out-of-town market traders to come in and make money out of our town at the expense of local businesses.
The guided bus normally enters and leave St Ives by the bus station and Station Road. On Monday (August 29) the council diverted the guided bus to the hinterland of St Ives so the stalls could trade in the bank holiday market.
On the one hand we have a project costing in excess of £179million, and on the other hand a few out of town stalls. The guided bus should take priority. It is so easy to re-locate the stalls from the bus station and Station Road to another part of town.
We have just lost yet another shop in the town centre, despite reports from our town centre manager that footfall is holding up. If that is the case then the town needs to increase footfall to stop the collapse of retail businesses and regular local market traders. Diverting the guided bus and dumping visitors at the back of St Ives will not impress them and not make them want to return.
If our town is to weather this economic storm we need to put visitors first and we need to put the guided bus first. We need to disembark visitors directly into the bus station at the heart of our wonderful town.
It's time that the officials at HDC recognised that in these difficult economic times they need to work with the businesses in St Ives, not do things like this that will assist in the destruction of retail in St Ives.
JANE AND RICHARD WATERS
Time for Health