Trade eroding but smart moves can stem the tide

There are no two ways about it, Worthing businesses want trade and this appears to be eroding fast.

The car owner and one or two passengers on board are vital to the Worthing shops.

Car owners have a choice of journeying to other towns, where the all-important costs of parking are cheaper.

I recently returned to my home town of Arnold, in Nottinghamshire. This area is suffering from high unemployment and, as such, is affected by available cash for shopping.

To my surprise, the local council there has set about wooing the motorist.

Preparing to spend at least two hours around the shops, I called into a council car park. Having sorted out my cash, ready to pay, there was, to my surprise, a notice saying “Welcome to Arnold, the first two hours’ parking is free”.

The ticket issued showed my arrival time at 10.22am, with a departure time clearly shown as 12.22pm. Had I wished to delay my time to, say, after lunch, it would have cost £1 per hour. I was most impressed.

Worthing is served by two excellent bus companies, Stagecoach and Compass, and I notice Metrobus also comes into town from outlying areas. Together, they bring in several hundreds of shoppers.

I am confident that, if the Worthing town centre manager were to approach these companies to set up a “Worthing shops ticket” promotion, she would be welcomed, for these bus companies are always interested in increasing ridership.

Customers, on tendering their ticket at the point of sale in participating shops, could, say, have a reasonable discount to be enjoyed, or, in cafés, maybe two coffees for the price of one.

The “shop in Worthing” flag must be flown before shop sales drop any more. Residents here enjoy a wide variety of shops. We are well-served, with some lovely sales assistants and shop window displays are most professional.

However, I feel that more could be done. What do you think?

Bernard Jefford

Littlehampton Road