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Shades of Dickens in town centre

PUBLISHED: 12:26 23 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:57 01 August 2010

I FEEL compelled to comment on the state of Lowestoft Town Centre.

The approach on foot from Pier Terrace is dirty and dilapidated; the shopfronts are unkempt, and the cafes are less than inviting, however hungry one might get.

I FEEL compelled to comment on the state of Lowestoft Town Centre.

The approach on foot from Pier Terrace is dirty and dilapidated; the shopfronts are unkempt, and the cafes are less than inviting, however hungry one might get. The pavements are covered in dirt which has adhered well because of numerous drinks having been spilled there.

On crossing the bridge, one is confronted with an obstacle course. Cyclists are on the pavement, cars and vans are often parked for deliveries and crossing Commercial Road is a bit fraught because of the large vehicles which use that road and force pedestrians to wait for a break in the traffic to exit.

Once across this road, another obstacle awaits in the form of traffic lights, which are certainly on the side of the motorist. Because of the lights at that junction, many cars have to stop on the crossing without any chance of backing up because the traffic is always nose to tail.

Having made it to Station Square, one is assailed by more dirty pavements. The progress up the main street gradually assaults your senses, the smell of dirty drains, burgers and onions and other unknown foods are not what is expected from the main shopping area of the town.

Shopkeepers do not seem to take any pride in the shopfronts, many of them are dirty and bespattered, the dirty windows in some of them could be examples of the grime found in Dickens' time, those on Station Square are the worst around. It is a sad indictment of the times in which we live when the best-kept frontages are those of a bettng shop and a charity shop.

The pavement in the area leading to the Britten Centre from the Marina is gradually being broken down because of the heavy vehicles which have access, with cracked and chipped paving stones becoming a hazard to the unwary. That is providing you have avoided the cyclists who seem to have free rein to cycle there.

The worst offenders in all of this grime are people who do not seem to understand that chewing-gum, bits of food and wrappings are called litter.

A litter bin seems to be a target that you throw something towards and if you miss you try again with something else until the area around the bin is nicely decorated with detritus.

The seagulls are a permanent menace but they are part of the scenery. I have found that water and a minimum of effort removes much of this.

Aha! I hear you cry; we are living in straitened times and there is no money for such luxuries. When the centre was first completed the council patted itself on the back for having achieved the change, but they do not seem to have any maintenance programme and have let it go.

I challenge the council to walk the route I have mentioned and if their senses are not assailed by the sights they see, the dirt, the grime, the smells, then they see nothing at all. How about a good scrub down then?

There are some bright things to be said about Lowestoft and that is the gardens and planted areas are well kept. The hanging baskets are cared for and the beach is tended to.

Some of the assets are still just that, others are gradually becoming liabilities. I think one of the nicest roundabouts in Lowestoft is the one on Beccles Road as you go to Beccles to shop.

Reg Blowers

Silverwood Close

Lowestoft

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