Duncan Enright on The High Street
Our Conservative MP has a cheek in attempting to rubbish Witney High Street, particularly given he is a Minister in the Department of Transport.
Councillors of all parties agreed to reduce traffic by stopping those without blue badges cruising through, while maintaining access for buses and taxis, and improving access parking for blue badge holders.
This move helped people stay safe during the pandemic and allowed more businesses to put out tables and chairs. It was supported in a WODC consultation in the summer by almost 1000 local people – 2:1 in favour.
Robert Courts is a British barrister and MP for Witney since winning the seat at a by-election in 2016, succeeding former Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Subsequent County consultation shows that many people also have concerns, but didn’t outnumber that first opinion. This shows how carefully we need to plan the future of our High Street. That includes involving businesses who understandably want to see more customers coming back after the pandemic.
The County has put in a bid for funds to complete a new design. This will make shopping cleaner and easier, with fewer vehicles and fumes, while making more space for shoppers and traders. Some of us would like to see much more frequent use of the Market Square for events and special markets, to drive traffic and encourage visitors as well as reminding us all of the reason Witney is built as it is – as a market town.
Some people outside the town have claimed there is a threat to free parking. Not while Labour Councillors represent Witney, and not while Witney people don’t want to pay parking charges. We have committed the County Council to guarantee no charges. This is good for businesses and residents alike, but so is making it far easier to bike and walk around town, and make sure our buses get the support they need.
Former Mayor of Witney and West Oxfordshire District Councillor for Witney East, Duncan Enright
Our message to our MP is “don’t be a stranger”. Talk to your councillors. Visit the High Street to go shopping once in a while. Experience the town and all its brilliant traders. We’re backing Witney, so why don’t you?