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    Is high street shopping to die out ?

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    papa_umau
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    Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by papa_umau on Wed 16 Dec 2009, 11:02 am

    With the demise of big firms like Littlewoods and Woolworths on the high street and their re-appearance online I was wondering if in ten or more years time will we be doing almost all of our shopping online ?

    This trend IS gathering pace and it was reported recently that almost half of all purchasing up until this time - and including the Christmas shopping - will be done online this year.

    A couple of questions:

    1). If this is to happen, what is going to be done with all of the increasing numbers of shop-front properties that are already and that are going to be lying empty in the future ?

    2). With all - or most of - the shopping being done online are the roads going to be choked by delivery lorries - most of them which are diesel - so that the air-quality in our towns and living areas is going to steadily get worse and worse ?

    This is not a future that I would like to see for my family; how about yours ?

    OR...am I just panicing about something that will not actually happen ?


    Last edited by papa_umau on Thu 17 Dec 2009, 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Hell's Granny
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    Re: Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by Hell's Granny on Thu 17 Dec 2009, 12:32 am

    I really hope it doesn't happen, I detest shopping online, I like to see the goods before I purchase.

    We will end up with ghost towns, my town is already near to that, no department store, no large chain stores, town centre overrun with cafes, pubs and restaurants chasing a diminishing number of customers.

    I have said for years that the big, long distance lorries should be banned and traffic put onto the railways, with small distribution depots at stations, for local small truck traffic only.

    It seems such a waste for the railways to be taking less and less freight, when we have decent rail infastructure to the main cities.

    Cheers, HG
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by papa_umau on Thu 17 Dec 2009, 11:51 am

    I gave you a "thanks" for that, ( as I have done a few times recently BTW ), as you seem to think exactly like I do in this respect.

    The days when Beeching-the-axe-man chopped all of those rail-services I said that "I bet we will be needing those rails and stations in the future". In the fullness of time I was proven right. ( I lurve being proven right Cool ).

    We have two large towns close to us where we live in the central belt of Scotland. 1). Stirling and 2). Alloa and these two towns display all of the points that you mentioned above.

    Stirling is a new city and a university town and with all of the historical attractions close to and in it it is exactly like you say above with nothing but trendy cafes and wine bars to accompany the up-market boutiques. It does have one good - if expensive - shopping mall in it.

    Alloa is a provincial market town that is now full of charity shops, banks, building societies, cafes, bookies and pubs with almost no manufacturing employment left. It used to be famous for knitwear factories, heavy engineering and breweries, but now they are all gone.

    Heavens knows where this is all going to end !


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    riders_on_the_storm
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    Re: Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by riders_on_the_storm on Fri 18 Dec 2009, 2:18 am

    Hells Granny said:

    "It seems such a waste for the railways to be taking less and less freight, when we have decent rail infastructure to the main cities."

    Actually freight on rails takes quite a toll on suburban railways (or any railways for that matter) and as I remember operators have to incur charges for using the rails - especially in peak times, although someone has to pay. I do think rail is a good idea in principle but it does not lend itself to the JIT (Just in time) policies of many companies now, but lorries do.

    Big freight trains do not mingle well with small speedy suburban sprinter trains.

    In my old job working in the IBM I remember hearing of delivery lorries travelling 40 + miles with one package, ok they were returning with more but this is how it works. In fact in America (the "evil" polluter) they have policies where big lorries stop at distribution centres on the outskirts of towns, then transfer smaller loads to small vans to be taken to the respective recipients. But not here, anything goes here and common-sense goes out the window!

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    Re: Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by Hell's Granny on Fri 18 Dec 2009, 6:29 am

    As the railways keep raising the fares so much, they are losing customers to the Car. I was postulating letting the passenger side die down, and getting freight on the tracks, allowing more road space for smaller vehicles.

    In the States, there are better highway links, and the out of town distribution centres so the large trucks can be kept out of town centres, We, unfortunately have the big 18 wheelers travelling on narrow town and country streets, which is positively dangerous.

    There was a case a couple of weeks back where a double articulated truck was proposed for Britain, it was tried on the road and immediately stopped by the police as too big.

    In London yesterday, a double decker bus was in collision with a truck, and was thrown on it's side by the impact. London Double deckers are built with a deliberately low centre of gravity to prevent this sort of occurrence, and drivers, as part of their test, have to control a skid which lifts a back wheel off the ground.

    Eddie Stobart, our biggest truck haulage firm, is starting to send more stuff by rail, and I think it would be safer to have distribution centres at large rail stations, with small local trucks taking goods on to the supermarkets, etc., rather than continue with long haul trucks. Also, more goods for each centre could be moved by one train at a single time, than many trucks, so perhaps the economics aren't quite as bad as they would first appear?

    Cheers, HG
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Is high street shopping to die out ?

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 18 Dec 2009, 11:51 am

    Interesting thoughts...BOTH !

    I am sure that - as in Europe - if our railways infrastructure was used properly AND efficiently there would be no need for the freight trains and the local passenger sprinters to get in each-other's way. ( That's what computers are great at !)

    It is a proven fact that per tonnage of freight a railway train is much more efficient at carrying that frieght via cost AND pollution factors. Once we get rid of the last of the diesel engines and fully electrify our rail infrastructure there is no argument against expecting that the greater total of general pollution will drop markedly afterwards.

    If the government realy wanted to get the heavy vehicles OFF the roads and even cut down on road traffic they would seriously subsidise - or even nationalise - all of the rail services so that they were dirt cheap for everybody to use.

    That idea about central rail hubs where goods are then put onto less-polluting and smaller local delivery trucks, ( maybe even electrically powered ), so that the JIT services could be kept running is one that has been talked about for many years. I doubt if it will ever come to fruition, at least not until they are forced to do it by the scarcity of fossil-fuels in the future.


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