YOUR LETTERS: Holbeach streets are not inviting

Joan Woolard

Joan Woolard

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With all due respect to my former fellow Holbeach parish councillor Paul Foyster, whose letters are always readable and well-argued, I wonder if he has ever had to walk the length of Holbeach High Street and back with a load of shopping?

At the risk of further antagonising my former council colleagues, I would comment that none of them use buses regularly for shopping and, like Mr Foyster, are not fully aware of the difficulties faced by disabled, lame or elderly non-drivers who visit Holbeach for shopping or to see a doctor.

The town is a nightmare for parents with prams, wheelchair users or anyone with a mobility problem.

Getting to the surgery, clinic or Women’s Institute Hall in Park Road from the interchange entails walking almost twice the length of the High Street, while Tesco or Boyes are even further; but at least they will be open for business.

Most potential customers are retired with money to spend, but the smaller shops don’t seem to want their cash; inconsistent opening hours and medieval early closing combine to confuse the elderly, who like to know when it’s safe to venture out and negotiate narrow, uneven pavements in uncertain and often unkind weather.

Shops appear to be run as hobbies, opening when they feel like it without regard for the customer.

Even with the renewed expectation of a Peppermint junction roundabout to take the HGVs away from town, Holbeach streets are far from inviting, despite wonderful flower displays; yet repeated requests for a shortcut from the High Street to Park Road are met with stubborn resistance.

There are several possibilities that could greatly benefit the town and visitors but, over the years, the council has failed to prevent developments that have blocked them or made them inaccessible.

Some forethought in the planning process could have saved much shoe leather and helped prevent Holbeach becoming a ghost town.

The removal of market stalls to the Boston Road car park will simply be another step too far for most.

Of course, we should all pull together, but, as a market town, Holbeach should consider its customers first. To paraphrase Kipling: What do they know of Holbeach that only Holbeach know?