TRAFFIC in Taunton and yet again I am surprised by the sheer power of the motor vehicle over the people of Somerset.

Cars, motorbikes, lorries all have their uses, but they are generally quite specific uses.

Yet the people of Taunton seem determined to pin any failing in society on a mythical ‘war on the motorist’.

The classic in this story of course is the decline of the high street.

Town centres across the nation are struggling as the internet becomes our shopping centre of choice.

But, here in Taunton, as usual, we seem to put it all down to the lack of parking facilities and high-speed roads through the town centre.

Some high streets are not failing, and I know for a fact not all of them allow cars to travel in the town centre.

In fact, I doubt many of them do.

Exeter, perhaps the closest example of a thriving town centre (pre-virus) does not allow cars to drive in much of the town centre’s shopping district.

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I wonder, as someone with no vested interest, whether the moves to make the streets safer, and perhaps less polluted and more pleasant, are simply a convenient excuse for those whose businesses are reaching the end of their sustainable life?

We can’t just keep blaming everything on not being able to park right outside the shops.

Let’s vroom vroom into the future, Taunton.

Monkton Heathfield