THE decline of St Helens town centre runs much deeper than parking - it comes from the pedestrianisation.

This pushes all big businesses to retail parks and the few businesses left in town struggle as the footfall of potential customers declines... Eventually they close.

Once closed, there is no revenue for the council and so there needs to be something in the building that will generate revenue again and the only viable option is a food outlet.

This is because you don’t have to go to them – they will deliver, there is no footfall needed here!

Then there’s the people who work delivering the food. As demand increases, more delivery drivers are needed, which means more vehicles parked outside waiting for food so they can drop it off.

If the council wanted to truly regenerate this town, they would firstly reverse pedestrianisation of the town centre, allow vehicles back in, create more parking and put a limit on food outlets providing takeaways.

Yes, I know it creates jobs for drivers who deliver – but ultimately that’s all town will be in the end.

The last thing the town centre needs is knocking down and building accommodation and wine bars. Apparently, we need a new bigger bus station? Why? I can’t see people flocking here to go shopping; most of the bus services have been reduced or some just discontinued.

Get the conditions right and the town centre will thrive into the bustling place it used to be, pre-retail parks and pre-pedestrianisation.

These are two massive factors in the decline of the town centre.

Marcus, via Facebook