HAVING completed my usual journeys through Taunton since the closure of St James’ Street, I have concluded that, yes, people are right, it takes longer to get across town.

But I don’t share the view of those who will see this as justification for re-opening the thoroughfare to traffic.

My reasoning? Well, put simply, it takes perhaps an extra five to 10 minutes to get from one side of the town to the other.

That is not a long time and, indeed, is a small price to pay for making the town centre a nicer place to be for shoppers (I certainly prefer not to have traffic zooming past me as I dodge shop signs in a narrow street).

READ MORE: St James Street closed to traffic from TODAY
READ MORE: LETTER: 'Closing St James Street could be a mistake'

Listening to people carrying on about the traffic in Taunton, you would think they’ve never been to a city, or even a large town, during rush hour.

We do not have a major traffic problem.

This is the County Town, supposedly, yet you can easily drive from one side to the other, at peak rush hour, in under half an hour.

What the people of Bristol, Bournemouth, Exeter, London, Oxford and more would give for journey times like that.

The people of Taunton do not realise how lucky they are - and shoppers will thank them, too.