Fringe Box



Letter: Car Park Closures Are Not A Breach of Human Rights

Published on: 13 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 13 Apr, 2020

From: Jan Todd

How dare Graham Potter “threaten” councillors at the next election (see comment under: Borough Council Closes Car Parks Used By Walkers).

Has he watched the interview James Whiteman (managing director, GBC) had with the Dragon NEWS and seen just how much the council is now dealing with and how hard they are working?

With a car park decision like this one, it would seem the council is damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. I’m sure this “jobsworth decision” was not taken lightly, and probably taken after advice from the police.

I cannot understand why anyone thinks it necessary to get into their car and drive to take a walk. I don’t understand it under “normal” circumstances, let alone under the present ones.

Nobody should be “crowding into parks” either. Walk around the block and then go back home.

If we are in the mood for making threats, The Guildford Dragon NEWS may lose a loyal reader if they continue to stir things up with opinion pieces (see: Does the Council’s Closing of Car Parks Really Reduce Risk of Infection?) using inflammatory language about “blind, unquestioning obedience” and “treasured freedoms including the right to question”.

This is not about anyone’s inalienable right to drive to a beauty spot. Yes, the message about exercise is confusing and open to interpretation but it is not a breach of your human rights to ask you to “stay local” just for now.

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Responses to Letter: Car Park Closures Are Not A Breach of Human Rights

  1. John Lomas Reply

    April 13, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    “Walk around the block and then go back home.”

    As I mentioned in an earlier reply to one of the articles about the car park/park and woodland closures, to do that, and keep the minimum distance from others, would require me to walk in the middle of the road, as all the houses near me front straight onto a 6ft wide pavement.

    There might be less traffic but what there is most definitely travelling faster and that includes the lycra-clad cyclists who appear to be in training for some long-distance race which isn’t going to happen anyway.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    April 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Underlying this opinion is an unquestioning belief that council officers and the police understand epidemiology and that nobody else does. Given genuine experts in the field are divided on the value of “lockdown”, that seems rather unlikely.

    Not everybody lives near to a place where they can walk and they are much safer isolated in their cars than rubbing shoulders with others around the block.

    The government guidance on using open spaces for exercise is clear: “Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily”. The wording allows for the use of common sense.

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