Richmond can’t decide whether it wants people walking or driving …

Barnes is to get a nice pavement refit, after which, it is hoped “business owners will see a rise in trade and happier customers.”

This contrasts with what appears to be a general council policy that it should be much easier for people to drive to their local shops (see here).

Now you might choose to argue that these two are mutually exclusive: after all, Richmond town centre got smoother traffic flow, lots of parking, and nice new pavements. But that would be to miss what seemed to be the clear implication from the councillors in the article which was that if you walk around somewhere you’re more likely to do some business there. This thread on Living Streets provides an excellent summary of the research to-date which suggests that making places more pedestrian friendly (and that seems mostly to mean ‘more traffic unfriendly’) is the way to get people to spend more and spend longer in your shopping districts.

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