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Letter: Lymington Market trial will not work

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SIR – As a former public order trained officer in London, with extensive experience of supervising events in the city – as well as also running and supervising numerous events in Lymington, where I have lived on and off for the past 11 years – may I advise you directly that the trial with the Saturday market during Covid-19, that commenced on Saturday 6th June, will not work.

Though it was a quiet and overcast day, it does not take much imagination to realise that on a hot sunny Saturday cars should not be allowed in the High Street and that to pedestrianise the area each market day will be A) safer from a pedestrian viewpoint B) most beneficial to stalls and retail outlets C) safer to prevent a potential spike with Covid-19.

I believe that if you give me six volunteer marshals and some common sense, that I can service the access of residents (they don’t need to use the high street for parking anyway), provide a potential solution for a bus drop-off / pick-up point, and create a wonderful atmosphere for cafes and visitors to the town that will be commended across this great land!

Having lived in mainland Europe for a number of years, towns there integrate this culture with effortless ease. Are we seriously suggesting that a small town of circa 14,500 people cannot do that?

Now is the time for fresh thinking and creating a socially conscious and modern town for the benefit of all and not for the selfishness of a few. Trust me, the present trial will not work.

Hampshire County Council’s old argument that the bus station was the reason to allow vehicular access is no longer valid either, given its demise.

This is now the time to enact change, to revitalise our local high street and local economy, and I very much hope Lymington and Pennington residents will get behind me in taking the county, district and town council to task.

As Mr Spock famously said in the tremendous series Star Trek: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” He knew what he was talking about.

Ian Erridge,

Address supplied

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