THE success of any pedestrianised area, including Darlington, relies upon easy access to shoppers from outlying areas of the town.

That is why original bus routes from the West End and southern parts of the town must be restored to Blackwellgate immediately.

All the no waiting, no loading, no unloading kerb lines which equate to no business kerb lines must be removed and a thorough review of all double yellow lines must be undertaken so that the unnecessary lines be removed and limited waiting areas be established for all.

The outdoor market must be restored to the Market Square along with a disc parking system on non-market days. Free parking for the disabled must be re-introduced in all our car parks and the concessionary fare scheme be adapted to reintroduce taxi-tokens for those pensioners who are unable to use the buses.

As a former chairman of Darlington’s Transport Committee, I am aware that if the circulation of traffic and pedestrians slows then the heart of our town will die.

Labour’s transport policy has been to fight the car and business causing many shops to close and shoppers to seek other shopping centres.

Middlesbrough and Hartlepool – both with elected mayors – have adapted their transport policies to invite the car and not fight the car.

I do hope the newly formed “I’m backing Darlington”group will strongly demand a change in direction of this Labour council’s transport policy – if one exists.

At the moment we see millions of pounds are being spent by the Labour council on infrastructures to establish out of town shopping centres with free parking – if these funds are available let’s introduce a free disc parking system throughout the town to ensure a level playing field.

Peter Jones, Darlington