Council roadworks driving business away(January 16, 2009)
TOWN centre shoppers in Warminster have tumbled dramatically and it is not over the seemingly everlasting slab and kerb-laying improvements writes Paul Macdonald.
Anyone looking from outside the National Westminster Bank along the Market Place towards the entrance to the Three Horseshoes Mall at noon today (Friday) would have been able to count the number of pedestrians on their fingers and toes.
The scene was much more like a Sunday morning as just eighteen souls had ventured into the street with two of them apparently being shop workers having a cigarette break outside where they work.
Friday has long been regarded as busiest day of the week and the January sales are still in full swing at shops like JAG (the mobile phone retailer) which had nobody walking by.
There appeared to be no one actually at work on town centre improvement scheme which is blighting the town in one of the longest running schemes that anyone can recall.
"It is such a sorry sight especially as everyone is avoiding the town centre because they think they will get snarled up in traffic," said a pensioner waiting for the bus. "I have lived here all my life and I cannot remember seeing Friday so quiet."
"Even some of the regulars are not here today waiting for the bus to go home"
"But look at it," she pointed out. "There are no cars queued at the traffic lights."
Anyone in the Market Place at 3pm would have been greeted with the same scene as there were more poeple waiting for buses, eleven, than the ten walking along.
It seemed busier because there was a queue of cars on the Kingdown School run waiting to get across through the traffic lights.
One unfortunate pensioner sitting at the bus stop outside M&Co had to be told that the buses could not get through and was pointed to the replacement stop round the corner in Station Road.
"Thank you," she said, " I might just get the one to Boreham Road that I want."
The question visionforwarminster will be seeking answers to from councillors next week are why cannot more workers be allocated to the improvements. At 3pm just two improvement works labourers were visible.