FOR 20 years as a professional Blue Badge tourist guide I have been talking about the delights of Salisbury, its exuberant history, its fine architecture and its vibrant modern lifestyle on city walks that start at the information centre in the Guildhall.
However, I was uneasy when I led groups through the densely packed car park that had filled and obscured the historic Market Place for so long.
Who, after all, likes visiting car parks?
I recently stood in the centre of the rejuvenated Market Place enjoying a clear and unobstructed view of the surrounding buildings and businesses.
The removal of the sights and sounds of parking vehicles from such a sensitive area has transformed the atmosphere of Salisbury's historic city centre.
Salisbury is now using its Market Place in a much more people-friendly fashion.
As a result, the successful café culture in the Market Place will undoubtedly continue to prosper.
The Tuesday, Saturday and Christmas markets now have much more space and are attracting new traders.
Visitors and tourists are enjoying the new spaciousness of the Market Place now that it is no longer, largely, a cramped car park. This is a change to celebrate. Shops and businesses that surround the market will surely benefit from these improvements.
Congratulations to the planners, Salisbury Vision and the Civic Society for their work on Salisbury's ongoing development and, in particular, their recognition of the long term benefits of well organised open space to business, locals and visitors.
David Richards, Dinton
Until today I have been in favour of our new market (except for the atrocious disabled toilet block, which looks like a workmen’s hut), but today I walked across it with disbelief.
It is filthy! There are splodges of dirt and grease and great patches of something black the size of a market stall.
Surely if this is caused by the market it should be hosed or steam-cleaned the following morning?
I was disgusted to see it in this state after so short a time in use.
B Wheeler, Bishopdown Farm
AS others see us...
I overheard an American teacher say to a young student as they gazed over a deserted, windswept market square: “It’s what we would call a parking lot.”
Gillian Roberts, Salisbury