IN reply to Julian Hide (Craven Herald letters, September 10) I would like to ask where he had spotted the ‘apparent chaos’ where pedestrians and cyclists have been given priority. Interestingly he refers to ‘many towns’ but ignores the one on his doorstep.

Skipton’s High Street has been closed for a few key hours on three days each week precisely to revitalise trade in the town, and it has worked so well for traders and shoppers, quite the opposite of the ghost town Mr Hide is afraid of. With many more people working from home it is more likely that they will wander into town (for many only a 15 minute walk away) more often, perhaps along the towpath, do some shopping, maybe pop into a café. Let’s give visitors and residents a safer, calmer, greener and cleaner town.

In Paris the mayor’s 15 minute city project aims to encourage more self-sufficient communities with grocery shops, parks, cafes, sports facilities, health centres, schools and even workplaces just a walk or bike ride away and transform the capital into a collection of neighbourhoods to reduce pollution and stress, thus improving the overall quality of life for residents and visitors. Melbourne, Utrecht, Dublin, Freiburg, Copenhagen have or are transforming their cities into places to live in, not cities for other people to drive through at the residents’ expense.

What I have seen in news reports and in videos on social media, is the chaos caused by vandals, smashing planters placed by local councils to encourage Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). Residents on these roads have used their own tools to repair these planters. The vandals are van drivers and taxi drivers who want to continue using those residential roads as rat runs. Cargo bikes have been delivering more and more goods, many more people have taken to riding bikes. E-bikes make cycling possible for so many more, as is evident in Skipton. You don’t have to wear Lycra! With the developments around Skipton railway station I hope to see a positive transformation of this area for pedestrians and cyclists, to include segregated paths.

Why is this so important? Public Health England has stated that “Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. There is strong evidence that air pollution causes the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer, and exacerbates asthma”. Professor Paul Cosford, Director of Health Protection and Medical Director at PHE, said that “Now is our opportunity to create a clean air generation of children…Key interventions local authorities can take include redesigning cities…(and) discouraging highly polluting vehicles from entering populated areas.” This is what I understand as Building Back Better.

As for Mr Hide’s concern about disabled people being particularly affected, suitable creative solutions can always be found, as simple as adding extra disabled parking at relatively close proximity to LTNs or allowing registered vehicles the same access through camera controlled modal filters as emergency vehicles, or any number of other creative solutions that would allow them continued use of their vehicles.

As for buses, even when the High St closes for the market, people could hop on and off at the top and bottom of the street as well as make their way to all points of the compass from the centre of town. We just need imagination, planning and the will to do it.

I’d like to add that there is absolutely no need for any lorry to use the High St or Newmarket St for that matter. What’s the bypass for after all?

Cllr David Noland, Green Party, Skipton