I recently attended a conference at the Royal Agricultural University organised by CDC and the Cirencester Town Council.

Whilst it was certainly interesting with lots of well intentioned ideas put forward, the organisers refused to accept my contention that the future of Cirencester depended primarily on the provision of additional car parking and a circular loop shuttle bus service.

One Councillor telling me that it 'was all in hand' as it has been for 21 years with no additional public car parking!

There were 1390 spaces in 1998, the same as there are today!

Even the proposed Park and Stride provision at the Rugby Club, an idea which I initiated in April 2016, won’t come on stream until the end of 2019.

I accept that large areas of the town are 'listed' and subject to significant preparatory work due to the archaeology.

However, the car parking issue 'can' has been kicked down this road now for far too long.

The objections mainly centred on cost, various local difficulties, and the much repeated 'we may not be driving in the same way in 10,20,30 years'.

I personally think that the motorcar, electric or otherwise, will always be the prime mover away from large urban cities, particularly in market towns with extensive rural village 'hinterlands'.

But even if I’m wrong, the multi storey car parks can be attractively designed as to replicate the town centre car park in Salisbury, which has a Georgian style facade and open unglazed windows.

Provision can be made in the construction for future services, stairs and lifts.

If demand slows, the top floor can easily be converted to offices or flats.

As to costs, I was told by a banker yesterday that a £5m 'build' could pay down over 10 - 12 years and allow free parking or at least much reduced charges( double the spaces?).

If they can do it with the Seven Bridge (now toll free) why not here in Cirencester?

What a legacy for future ageing generations!

Ditto the Brewery Car Park (2030) and Forum (2040).

And timely too, with the Chesterton development likely to generate 5,000 - 7,500 cars.

CDC are planning for an additional 375 car spaces in the plan period to 2030.

There is a momentum in the town, let’s all keep it going.

Easy access, lots of independent shops, more provision for the young, such as a cinema and bowling alley and more affordable flats (Police Station?).

Open up the Amphitheatre, promote the world class museum, and be proud of and support our new theatre The Barn at The Beeches which was Fringe of the year 2018.

Peter Noest