It took decades of campaigning to achieve in 1999 the pedestrianisation of Cornmarket and restricted traffic in the High Street, so suggestions to bring back buses to Cornmarket, however limited in number, are distressing (August 22).

Even with more fuel-friendly buses, nitrous oxide and CO2 levels in Oxford City Centre are already dangerously high!

So Westgate Mark 2 will bring what? More national chains, a building complex of dismal dehumanising dimensions, and more traffic.

So much should and could been done with St Ebbe’s and St Thomas’ after ‘the slum clearance’ of 40 years ago.

Talk then was of community spaces, of a concert hall and arts centre, of small local retails outlets, of affordable housing, and of limits on traffic.

None of these has been realised in what has been and continues to be a narrow commercial (rather than an integrated community) model.

Jobs at Westgate 2? Yes, zero-hour contracts and minimum wage subsistence employment; and don’t be fooled into believing that some of the bigger chains are models of good employment practice.

What will be will be, it seems. And a plague on all our houses will be the outcome.

Bruce Ross-Smith

Bowness Avenue


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Today’s letters