Outrageous behaviour in the High Street

Traffic was banned from the High Street on Saturday morning, in preparation for the Carnival at mid-day.  And, do you know, people were wandering all over the road, enjoying the experience.  One couple was even holding hands in the middle of the street.  Thank goodness this doesn’t happen too often.  We must be grateful that the council has never carried out its thirty-year-old plans to turn the High Street into a pedestrian-friendly area;  we don’t want shoppers spending too much time in the borough’s principal town. (Bizarrely, we think we’ve heard councillors say the opposite.)

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13 thoughts on “Outrageous behaviour in the High Street

  1. Yes – it was a great feeling. My wife said to me “Why are you walking in the road?” “Because I can”, and it somehow brought the town alive for a few hours. To me, maybe naively, there is no reason why, from say 10.00-18.00, this can’t happen every day. As it happens I never saw any carnival!!

    • Many other towns seem to manage a sensible compromise. Ban traffic at peak shopping times – when there’s least chance of finding a parking space in the road, or of a supplier being able to make a delivery – and open the road fully at other times.

  2. Obviously I don’t know the answer, Helen – though my wife and I bought one more croissant than usual while waiting for the parade! But I do know more than one retailer who says that events in the town are bad news for trade on the day. They just hope that events make the town more popular overall.

  3. Sorry, but I beg to differ. There are reasons for not pedestrianising the High Street and here are a couple. Deliveries to the the shops is one. Quick visits to a shop or the bank is another. We already have pedestrianised Park Street plus of course the Mall. By all means close the High Street to traffic for special events, but not every day.

    • Well, the banks are solving that one by closing most of their branches. And it’s easier and cheaper to use the internet for shopping. Shops will only survive if shopping in town is a pleasant experience. Which the High Street isn’t. Of course fast food outlets and take-always need nearby parking, so that’s the High Street’s destiny under the current regime. Domino’s Pizza and Wok-away are already on their way. The Barb-B-Q Pit moved in not so long ago… WHSmith ‘half moved out’ by sharing its premises with the Post Office.

    • What’s more, high streets have been in relative decline for a while. Eg a report earlier this month said “It was the first such drop since February, driven by a 2% fall in high street footfall and a 1.3% decline at shopping centres. Retail parks defied the broader trend, with a 1.5% rise, according to the figures from the British Retail Consortium and retail analysts Springboard”

    • And I’ve just seen that the Mall recognises the inevitable trend. It’s displaying a poster that says something like ‘Shop up to 10:00pm’. It then goes on to explain: ‘Buy on the internet, and collect from here the next day.’

  4. FACT.
    SHBC are not motivated at all to make the High Street too attractive.
    As you say, Camberley’s primary high street serves as short term car park for the Mall.
    SHBC will find money to improve the Mall, Hugh Street can whistle.

    Conflict of commercial interests. High Street traders should withhold rates for poor service.

    Camberley High Street Shop rear access is already available.
    Disabled and Short term parking could be provided if they cleaned up the rear service roads.
    The High Street should be Closed to vehicular traffic. No more Huge HGV monsters

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