Sad decline

What has happened to Alnwick? It should have everything going for it, a market town in a beautiful area of the country surrounded by coasts and castles. Yet despite its advantages, it seems to be dying month by month and year by year.

Apart from a few gems, a lot of the central shops are dull and unattractive.

The Market Place attracts only a handful of stalls on market day. The bus depot area is bleak and windy with no facilities. The public toilets behind the market are run down and a sad disgrace.

The town suffers from high parking charges and at present a vindictive army of traffic wardens slapping penalties on those unfortunate enough to have to visit.

Compare this to Morpeth where forward-thinkers have regenerated the centre and bus station attracting in the process big players like M&S, Waitrose and a brand new Morrisons.

Morpeth is thriving and deservedly so. So why can’t Alnwick be regenerated like this?

Could it be that rents or rates are too high to be sustainable?

Is that why we have a joke of a new garage lying empty during the past year and empty shops on the new build near the bus station?

Do those responsible for development and forward planning have too many vested self-interests? Are the landlords being greedy on rents?

Who knows? But, meanwhile, the lovely town of Alnwick is slipping into decline and next year’s experiment with limited free parking may well be too little, too late.

Mrs B Diggens,

Warkworth