No going back to pre-Covid times | Letters

John Butterworth says local amenities and communities could be revitalised with people continuing to work from home, Dr Richard Tyler anticipates a significant spike in university towns and Mike Pender despairs after a night out in Cardiff

Government pressure to return en masse to offices (Report, 2 September) has more than a whiff of ulterior motive about it. No one underestimates the distress that Covid has brought to businesses by the disappearance of daily commuters. But are the hours of tedious travel and the attendant risk of a second wave of infection – to say nothing of the avoidable harm to the environment – really justified to restore the cashflow to coffee shops and sandwich bars?

What is being overlooked is the long-term opportunity that would flow naturally from more people working and spending near their homes. We have been hearing for decades about the decline of village and suburban shops, pubs, leisure centres and other amenities. What better way to revitalise these communities than keeping their residents’ customer demand local.
John Butterworth
Preston, Lancashire

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