THE letter from Andrew Jones of the Sony Centre in the Express highlights a trend that seems to be gathering pace: the familiar “anchors” in the city centre are disappearing, some as a quick fix way of cutting budgets, others because of the pull of new developments such as Trinity Walk.
Some landmarks have relocated, but that doesn’t always help: there is no Barclays Bank on Wood Street Corner, no Yorkshire Bank on Westgate, no Museum, no Art Gallery, no Balne Lane or (soon) Drury Lane Library, no Argos or Halifax on Westgate, no Woolworths, and soon, perhaps, no police station - and there are more. The absence of the familiar makes the city centre less inviting.
The city centre and its businesses have to contend with such changes, together with unsympathetic “no change- no small coins” parking ticket machines and their relentless charges: now we have the new Northern “Gateway” road scheme which actually makes it harder to access Wakefield centre by doubling traffic signals and halving traffic lanes.
We’ve even lost the Hepworth sculptures in favour of the ever-travelling Queen Victoria statue, now staring accusingly at County Hall.
We need to make our city centre welcoming and easily accessible by people of all ages and interests by day and night.
It’s time to get a grip and try to reverse the present trends: a more user friendly city centre would be a start.
Blenheim Road, St Johns