Your correspondents (DT June 23) can’t understand the importance of events like the women’s cycle race to the town.
Shops close and market traders no longer come because they do not have enough customers to make a profit. Partly this is because of the growth of online shopping which reduces the number of people coming into the town centre, but this shortfall can be made up by attracting visitors to the town.
The success of the flea market demonstrates this. Chesterfield is ideally situated to be a tourist attraction being close to the M1 and with a mainline station.
However having attracted tourists to town, the council, in my view, does little to advertise the attractions of the town centre, instead advertising the attractions of the Peak District so that visitors spend their money there instead of in Chesterfield.
The cycle race brought many people to the town and any establishment selling food and drink should have had a very profitable day. There is also the potential for these visitors to come back to stay on other occasions because they liked what they saw of the town, and its attractions were shown on nationwide television for free.
Many people were unaware of the event happening. The council must bear some of the responsibility for failing to make people aware of it.
I only found out about it because, as a pedestrian, I read one of the notices about street closures. How were passing motorists supposed to read these? In Matlock, the Dales District Council put up notices saying that motorists were on the route of the race and should be prepared for delays on the day.
The ‘pay and display’ boards in the car parks there also carried advertisements for the race. Yes, Chesterfield Council put information on its website, but if people are unaware of an event they can’t find out how it is likely to affect them and then decide whether to support the race or to avoid the town centre whilst it is on.
Mr Wright can rest assured that organisers of events have to meet the cost of policing the events and it was certainly not a police helicopter that was filming the race.