WELL DONE Giles Semper, executive director at Go!Southampton (Echo July 23rd), for supporting the green transport recovery plan which, as he says, "offers a unique opportunity to reclaim some city centre locations from the car and to allow businesses and their customers to thrive while observing social distancing".

Many cities in the UK have already brought in restrictions on motor vehicles in their centres and the benefits have been well demonstrated.

The most obvious benefit is environmental in the form of reduced carbon emissions and better air quality but car-free city centres also lead to a rise in commercial activity and consequential economic improvement.

Exeter, for example, pedestrianised several streets between 2000 and 2010 and the result was a 30% increase in footfall, with retail turnover in pedestrianised areas out-performing that in non-pedestrianised areas.

When the centre of Paris went car-free in 2015 levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by 40%.

There is no reason why Southampton would not benefit from the proposals put forward by the council as part of the green transport recovery plan just as other cities have benefited from car-free centres.

A city centre with clean air which prioritises people rather than cars is the way forward and must not be de-railed by those who have no vision for the future of our city.

Lindsi Bluemel