20 Mar 2010

'Drang nach Aussen' (or 'The Passion of the LRTA')

"Just as insidious as Hitler's Drang nach Osten is the modern drift to out-of-town shopping. News that Marks and Spencer, hitherto a High St only shop, is to join with Tesco to build new out-of-town shopping centres rings alarm bells in everyone who has read Jane Jacobs' classic 'The death and life of great American cities'. Moves from Streets to country drive-in sites are the start of a process which can ruin life in cities. The cyclical process is simple. Allegedly up market car users desert the High St shops, eroding their earnings. Some close; others switch down-market to serve the inner city dwellers. Remaining up-market shoppers desert them, removing off-peak patronage from public transport; bus services are cut and, in despair, more turn to the car and shop out-of-town."

from 'Modern Tramway' magazine (the "Official organ of the Light Rail Transit Association"), February 1985.

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