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BRC to distribute Retail Toolkit to small retailers
09
Feb '08
Retailers could be missing a golden opportunity to shape local transport policy and risking damage to their businesses, warns the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Publishing a new rules for engagement, the 'Retail Toolkit for Improving Town Centre Accessibility', the BRC is urging retailers to closely watch local planners and make their views known before it is too late.

The 'Retail Toolkit' offers retailers step-by-step instructions on how they can best influence local decision makers. It includes advice on early warning systems for council proposals that could undermine local businesses.

The guide also provides retailers with a series of probing questions to ask councils, such as:

• Can they give a pledge on guaranteed journey times by public transport?
• What is the council doing to tackle the lack of parking in town centres?
• Is there anything the council can do about the lack of loading bays near my shop?

The BRC will distribute the Retail Toolkit to tens of thousands of small retailers and local authorities across England and Wales.

Ed Cooke, BRC Head of Transport and Property, said: “It's in everyone's interest, from councils to local residents and businesses, to ensure thriving town centres.

“For councils to make well thought-out decisions on town centre accessibility, they need retailers to tell them about the impact their proposals may have.

“Positive change can be achieved when businesses get involved in the consultation process. For example, lobbying by London's West End theatres meant the end time of the London congestion charge was changed from to six to 6.30pm.

“By not getting involved in town centre proposals, retailers risk changes, which harm their businesses, without them even realising they are happening.”

British Retail Consortium

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