Fears new Westgate will be a missed opportunity

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First published in Letters

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

Headington

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Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

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Comments (3)

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11:37am Tue 26 Aug 14

mytaxes says...

No doubt the majority in Oxford are looking forward to the new Westgate and I for one cannot wait for my favourite store to open in Oxford. Of course we need a concert hall, however, voting for the same old Labour and Lib Dem councillors will ensure that we will probably never get one. Probably best for you not to venture out of Headdington!
No doubt the majority in Oxford are looking forward to the new Westgate and I for one cannot wait for my favourite store to open in Oxford. Of course we need a concert hall, however, voting for the same old Labour and Lib Dem councillors will ensure that we will probably never get one. Probably best for you not to venture out of Headdington! mytaxes
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Tue 26 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

it is about time Oxford was dragged into this millenium, and a new westgate is one of the ways to do it.
it is about time Oxford was dragged into this millenium, and a new westgate is one of the ways to do it. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 1

9:48am Wed 27 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

The writer is probably unaware that the anchor store in the new Westgate will not have any employees. It will have partners.
The writer is probably unaware that the anchor store in the new Westgate will not have any employees. It will have partners. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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