Just before my internet connection went belly up, this message came in from a despairing local businessman…
An area is struggling and shops are closing. Weeks even months of traffic problems push the few remaining customers away to Bluewater which is only ten minutes away with free parking. The recent regeneration killed their Bexleyheath habit and Welling has gone the same way. When Sidcup High Street reopens in the future it will be to even fewer customers.
Most sane people go to the shops to shop. To buy goods. To use services. They do not go there because of the street furniture or lighting. If you cannot park, car owners with money, will go elsewhere.
The only people to ‘benefit’ from this ‘regeneration’ are those using the furniture, typically older people on a limited income who will not raid their banks and spend loads. New lighting may only offer benefits only when the shops are closed.
People go to the High Street for banking and shopping, or they used to! Get shops back, proper shops, not nail saloons, charity shops, and bookies. Then people will return. Until then, all the speed humps, benches, trees, lights, widened pavements, etc etc, as well as lack of parking, queues, traffic jams etc, will only lead one way.
The death of the High Street. Not content with wasting our money on Bexleyheath, a proven failure, Welling and Sidcup are now heading in the same direction. I think I’m gonna move. Blackheath perhaps.