Newmarket Journal readers' letters to the editor
The plight of the town's High Street draws comment this week.
DELIVERYMEN’S ‘GIFTS’ DAMAGING THE HIGH STREET
Having been married to the same lady for 33 years I have little to grumble about our life together until now.
You wake up one morning and you find something has change in your relationship and you look around to find someone to blame. In my case the culprit has turn out to be Amazon, the Royal Mail and DHL. Behind my back they arrive at my door when I am out and leave presents for my wife. I have found books, make up, and plants, in the last two weeks. It has to stop.
You may ask why I should mind other men bringing presents to my wife and you may dear reader have the same problem and I ask for your help and advice.
What my wife does not understand is the problem she is causing in our High Street. We have empty shops. We have shop workers without jobs. We have a drop in people using our town and towns will die unless we change.
This is not just a Newmarket problem. We are not alone. Even Oxford Street is feeling the problems caused by on line shopping.
Our only choice is to think before we spend our money outside our town. Drastic change does not have to happen. We can manage change but we have to face the challenge it will bring to our town.
I am sorry Royal Mail, Amazon and DHL it’s not your fault, we are to blame. We did not give enough thought to what we have started and where we are going tomorrow.
James Lay, Tithe Close, Gazeley
NO OPPORTUNITY TO OPT OUT OF BID
Last week’s letter by John Morrey, chairman of Newmarket BID, ignores the fact that the BID levy is basically a surcharge on business rate payers.
The levy is capped at £10,000 per year, which might be inconsequential for Waitrose but a few hundred pounds could be a week’s profit for a small business.
Payment of the levy is compulsory, whether one voted for, against, or not at all, for the BID to continue. It is surely not unreasonable for businesses to expect that some of their rates might be spent on initiatives to promote trade and not have to pay twice.
Unfortunately government legislation empowers BIDs to demand payment of the levy and pursue those unwilling or unable to do so. If businesses wished to belong to a cooperative they would surely opt to do so rather than be conscripted.
Wayne Berry, Newmarket
EXTRA TRAFFIC IS CAUSING DAMAGE
If any of your readers have used the Norwich Road between the Boy’s Grave (B1506) and the A11 over recent months they will have noticed the destruction of the verge and parts of the highway, mainly by local heavy lorries.
This has followed the weight restriction on the bridge at Kennett station.
The verge is a natural habitat for local wildlife and now severely damaged. The mud and the deep gulleys formed are a hazard to cyclists. The road surface is unable to cope despite the numerous attempts at repair, all at additional cost to the Council Tax-payer.
I lodged a concern on the Cambridgeshire highways portal to be told that it did not consider it an issue and that it was Network Rail’s responsibility. No attempt was made to consider the increasing damage to both the environment and the road.
The majority of the road is within Cambridgeshire Highways, with a small stretch in Suffolk Highways. There has been plenty of time for the highways departments to observe the damage and take some action. There is another route along local A and B roads involving only a modest increase in distance. One would have hoped that at the very least those departments would have discussed a voluntary change in route by the local companies involved, in order to avoid the increasing damage. But that would mean someone showing initiative.
John Ford, Chippenham Road, Moulton
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