Don’t blame Asda and Tesco for Galashiels town centre shops’ demise

As another shop in Galashiels (Thorntons) closes its doors, no doubt many will again blame the demise of town centre shops on the presence of Asda and Tesco.

This is an ignorant, simplistic and uneducated assumption to make. Nobody is forced to go into these stores – people do so entirely through choice.

The main underlying reasons for this current state of affairs are lack of public disposable income (a nationwide problem, but one greatly exacerbated in the Borders by an ever-ageing population and a lack of well-paid, full-time jobs), sky-high parking charges and a 30-minute limit on street parking. Not to mention the growth in numbers of members of the public choosing to do all their shopping in one place and not have to spend more than a minute or two walking between the shops and their cars.

Even if Asda and Tesco stores did not exist, in Galashiels or elsewhere, these factors would remain, and until they are addressed the situation will not change.

Robert Crosbie

Gala Park