I WAS puzzled by the two letters opposing buses running through St Ives (March 21).

I did wonder whether Phyllis Walton had actually been to the market recently. She talks of 14 stalls being lost. Only five would be affected, and on recent Mondays there have been plenty of spaces for them in other parts of the market. These can be seen very clearly now that the traders have taken to parking their vans in the car park again.

As to a loss of shops, that is already happening, especially on the western side of the town centre. If Cambridge-bound buses were to stop in the Broadway, it might result in making that area attractive to potential retailers.

Both retailers and market traders commented on the boost to trade that came when the guided bus opened last summer. Even Councillor Ablewhite has admitted that. For the sake of the centre's economy, let us build on this opportunity

I got a sense of déjà vu reading Ted Bocking's letter, but his comment about "those with commercial interests at heart" seemed strange. I thought that we were in an era were commercial interests were all important.

Whose commercial interests is he talking about? Surely not the traders who stand to benefit, or would he prefer to see St Ives slowly die as a shopping centre?

Or perhaps he is talking about the bus operators. Their interests are twofold, first to carry more passengers and secondly to operate more efficiently, by which I mean avoiding congestion where possible.

With the ever-increasing costs of motoring, I would have thought that we should be welcoming more bus passengers and the money they bring into the town.

As to congestion, as Councillor Criswell is reported as saying in your paper, the Meadow Lane roundabout is causing the significant problem. In the morning peak, as a number of correspondents have pointed jams build back into the town centre and Needingworth Road. Taking buses out of East Street and the Quadrant can only be of benefit.

JOHN HOLMES

Waveney Road

St Ives