RESPONDING to your reporting of the council’s introduction of car-free roads, can I write in support of Andy Hadley and the BCP cabinet?

During lockdown there was a hugely positive response to a different experience of life free from cars and traffic. It was as if we all had a taste of what life could be like in our urban landscape without the constant threat, pollution and noise of cars and of how more pleasant areas of our towns could when people can walk and cycle safely and spread out into the space dominated by cars.

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Yet as soon as an authority seeks to take positive and creative action to bring this kind of experience of life to our towns there is an outcry.

Anyone visiting a town in Belgium or Holland will know what an extraordinary experience it is to sit in a car free central area, with bikes everywhere and a sense of ease and quietness. People want to live in such places – people want to visit such places.

Delft in Holland did what we are trying to do here in the 1970s – offered people an experience of what it would be like to have cars excluded from the city centre. When people were then asked if they wanted cars back, there was an overwhelming ‘no’. We are experiencing a little of this in the centre of Poole on the quay and lower High Street and it is wonderful, with people able to walk freely and restaurants spilling out onto the waterfront space.

Giving space for a more humane life without cars in areas of our congested towns is healthier, as pollution is reduced and more people walk and cycle, and better for the environment with fewer emissions and dangerous particulates in the air.

The change that is being resisted here is change itself! Let the council demonstrate what is possible if we give space for a healthier life in our town and then let them give us a chance to say if would like to invite the car back.


Green Road, Poole