I would like to pick up from Richard Cussons’ letter last week both his general tone of support for some form of pedestrian-priority (not necessarily full pedestrianisation; shared-space and other schemes are common) and specifically the conflict between residents’ and businesses’ opinions over the proposal.

There have been two opinion surveys in the last 15 years or so and each time around threequarters of residents wanted some sort of pedestrian priority, for King Street in particular. In each case, this was strongly opposed by a group representing some businesses who prevailed with the council. I have two thoughts on this contradiction.

Firstly, I know full well that running a retail business is hard, particularly these days. Any big change to the way customers shop is an extra risk and the first instinct must be to regard any further risk as something you just don’t want.

Secondly, however, the towns’ residents are also our businesses’ customers (as is everyone who comes into Knutsford from outside). It’s a basic marketing premise that you try to give the customers what they want and the customers want a more pedestrianfriendly environment than that provided by the narrow and dangerous pavements and the carfilled carriageway of King Street.

They are a nightmare for everyone, particularly those pushing prams or in wheelchairs.

There are at least two precedents for pedestrianisation (let’s call it) in small market towns – Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire and Sherborne in Dorset. Each is similar to Knutsford – a scheme supported by residents but opposed by retailers. In both cases, pedestrianisation went ahead and trade (and quality of life) has improved in both cases.

Geoff Holman, Knutsford