Oxford Mail readers have been giving their views on traders’ complaints about the closure of Witney High Street to some traffic.

Worried traders say the continued closure is having a devastating effect on their businesses and have launched a petition against it.

Of 37 shops who have signed it, 36 oppose the measures to restrict Witney’s main road to buses, cycles, taxis and disabled badge holders only.

Market trader Darren Smith said shoppers carrying heavy bags of potatoes or carrots wanted to be able to pull up near by and park.

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LUKE BENSON: “Yeah, it’d be really helpful if the whole closure thing was better signposted too.

I’m not a Witney local, but found myself passing through late one night. I saw the motley collection of plant pots blocking the road, assumed local drunkards were playing a prank and followed the car in front around them.

Sure there may be signs saying such and such street closed, but non-locals don’t know which street that is.”

LIAM MORLEY: “Normally I loathe the Oxfordshire anti-car movement, like we see in Oxford itself, but I don’t see a huge issue with this myself.

However, the consultation needs to be much better - 1,346 responses of which only around 30 were organisations or businesses.

“Consulting 1,346 out of a population of circa 30,000 is hardly representative, but at the very least they need to consult separately with the businesses of Witney to get a solution that works for them and the residents.

“That collection of wooden planters at either end of the High Street needs to go too - in most towns they’d have been obliterated by a speeding car long ago, so they’ve had a good innings.

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“Restrict cars between 10am & 4pm perhaps - keep it safe in the core shopping hours but don’t stop people stopping by on the way to/from work to pop to a shop or the bank etc, or restrict traffic flow during the evenings.”

PENNY JAYNE: “Covid and the movement to online shopping has made a difference. Prior to the pandemic we’d walk into town (or drive and park) most weekends. But now we have less money, and everything costs more anyway. It’s these changes that have killed the high street more than stopping cars driving through, none of which parked there anyway.”

GIOVANNA MONTEIRO: “Have you guys heard of climate change?”

STUART FIELD: “Giovanna what does that have to do with this issue?”

GIOVANNA MONTEIRO: “I remember being at a meeting when this was being talked about and the proposal was to create a more ‘green’ environment.”

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DEAN GILDEA: “The power to close it or not rests with Oxfordshire County Council. If it is to remain closed, then it should be done with the correct Consultation & Traffic Regulation Order made!”

RACHAEL CARTER: “I don’t see why cars driving down the road would make a difference to footfall?

“Loads of free parking in Witney. I can see how it’s more of an issue for trades people.”

BEN SMITH: “I prefer it as it is.”

HAYLEY SPICER: “I don’t get it - there is free parking nearby everywhere, and a little strip of parking there before. I think it’s rubbish about it affecting businesses. Much better left closed and so much nicer. I just think after Covid some people are still just not going out as much etc, they just need to get over it because it’s not going anywhere.”

PATRICIA GRANT: “But it does make a difference.”

ADY BIRCHER: “The town is dead. It’s full of closed units and coffee shops. The is no longer an attraction to come to Witney to shop.”

ADAM HEPPELL: “Three large car parks, a multi-storey car park literally five minutes walk, if that, and it’s free parking!

“And still people complain because they have to carry a bag of carrots a little further!”

LAUREN TOWNSEND: “You’re not looking at the bigger picture - yes we’ve got parking but soon you’ll have all this parking and nowhere to shop!”

ADAM HEPPELL: “Not being able to park on that little strip of road is not the reason shops are closing down, that is my point, not that you can park on it anyway! It’s mainly a taxi rank or disabled spots.”

SUSAN WARD: “So true - much better than having cars parking right down the high street.”

OXFORD MAIL READER: “It’s happening all over London too.”