Voice of Business Is the Voice of Common Sense

ANOTHER day, another business warning that the plans to make Salisbury more pedestrian and cycle friendly will cost them a fortune.

This time it’s the Cathedral View B&B in Exeter Street, where residents’ parking will make way for a cycle lane. The proprietor reckons it will lose him 50% of his takings.

Who drew up these plans? Was it in Salisbury or Trowbridge? I find it really hard to imagine it can have been anyone familiar with what’s where in Salisbury. The principle of making our city greener is great. The practicalities just haven’t been thought through well enough.

It’s not difficult to work out that B&Bs catering to our vital tourist industry need parking space. Any more than it was to realise that a launderette needs a drop-off point, or a sick animal might need to be transported to the vet in a vehicle. I pointed these things out weeks ago.

Now even the cycling pressure group COGS, which is generally over the moon about the People Friendly Streets trial, is saying on Twitter that it didn’t call for this particular cycle lane. I should hope not. The street is clogged up enough as it is, without losing a few feet of the carriageway to anyone brave enough to risk it on two wheels.
“Gosh,” says COGS, “we really hope you don’t lose 50% of your business – that would not be acceptable.” It goes on to ask how COGS, the city council and the BID can help “further promote” the B&B.
I should have thought it was obvious. Don’t prevent guests from parking.
To add insult to injury, I’m hearing that not one resident of Exeter Street has been officially notified yet about this scheme.
I honestly don’t see why people can’t cycle on the very wide pavement there instead. Obviously they’d have to go carefully, especially at school opening and closing times, but it wouldn’t be impossible. I know, because I’ve done it! Sorry, officer! But it seemed the safest bet at the time.

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