…I dunno, you spend a few weeks away and suddenly it’s all change.

It’s been interesting catching up with events in the Journal, especially the latest park-and-ride saga. After all that fuss, disruption and spending (our money, let me remind you) Wiltshire Council has finally recognised what most of us have known for years: the scheme is totally useless.

It’s useless because our city is a crossroads. Who is supposed to use these spaces? Commuters? Salisbury’s a place you commute from, not to. Visitors?

Look at a map: our through-route destinations are Southampton, Bristol, Bournemouth, Weymouth and Basingstoke. Our tourist attractions are the Cathedral and Stonehenge. Look at the P&R locations, and then try and work out why you’d want to use them.

Why would anyone heading from Southampton to Bristol use the Petersfinger park-and-ride if they must subsequently drive through the city anyway? The same thing applies the other way. Park at Wilton P&R, hop on to a bus, visit the cathedral and then hike all the way back out to pick up the car in order to drive through en route to Southampton?

We were conned about this scheme. It should have been scrapped the moment the planned by-pass was cancelled in 1997. Park-and-ride systems need by-passes in order to work. And what we need are councillors and officials bright enough to realise that before wasting money. Salisbury Visionaries, please note.

Talking of which…

… Am I the only one who never knew the trees in the Market Square were planted in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee?

These of course are the trees we’re now being told (by Salisbury Vision) are diseased and must be chopped down to make way for the Disneyland-style market they want to inflict upon us. Why do we allow this? They should leave the Jubilee trees alone.

My photo of the Mayor was taken…

… at this week’s Salisbury Rotary Club dinner. Brian Dalton and his lovely wife Marina had joined us to pick the winners of a national competition. (Also in the picture is the club President, Bob Dunster.) The contest had been organised by Rtn Graham Parker, designer of the Rotary International umbrella in the picture, and was restricted to those who’d bought brollies.

The proceeds go to RI’s Polio-Plus campaign and over the next few years Graham’s initiative will raise tens of thousands of pounds. All this will be spent on vaccinating millions of children in Asia and West Africa.

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