As a resident of Southampton, I am bitterly disappointed to hear the news of the reopening of Bedford Place.

Southampton City Council say they made the decision since ‘57% of local businesses responded to a local survey in favour of reopening Bedford Place’, yet a survey of 500 people by Shop Local showed that ‘Support for the Bedford Place scheme and its impact on the area as a destination is incredibly strong, with 96.2% of respondents answering positively.’

Are these people’s views to be simply dismissed? We can show the Tories all the evidence that pedestrianisation is healthier and supports the local economy, and they will continue to do what suits them.

Sustrans have proved that increasing other ways to access shops other than by car, increases footfall. On their website it says ‘In the south of England, Exeter provides us with an excellent example. Between 2000 and 2010 motor vehicle traffic was removed from several streets in the city centre. At the same time, there was increased investment in the public realm of existing shopping areas, during development of the Princesshay shopping centre.’

Research from TFL shows that ‘Research from Transport for London shows that people who walk to the high street spend 40 per cent more over a month than people who drive.’

It is simply counterproductive to open Bedford Place. When I visit Bedford Place it is full of people, vibrant and colourful. It is also peaceful without the noise of the cars going round the small streets.

I know many people who will be as disappointed as I am in the reopening and the return of cars racing round the streets. I will always stand against this and the Tories blind opposition to progress.

Rosie Newey

Southampton