River project is a fantasy; Letters.
I am delighted the council wishes to look at opening up the river but think the projects should be based on simple reality and not be hyped-up by unsupportable claims. Opening up the river could provide a focus for a restaurant or cafe area and make a very interesting feature. Such a development may well create employment and wealth for the city but the river is only a useful feature, not the be-all and end-all of such a scheme.
The claim that opening the river will improve water quality is suspect. The river has a surfeit of chemicals from farms upstream and probably a shortage of oxygen from lack of natural turbulent flow which can aerate the water. Opening up the river will not by itself change this. Providing a large lake, like the Swanswell, and aerating it with a large (and expensive) fountain - and providing lots of green bank-side growth, might help but a cost benefit analysis would probably rule out such an extravagance.
Regular openings through the city might help fish and wildlife traverse the otherwise forbidding chasms through what is little better than a sewer. But the notion that you can put a multi-million benefit to all this is a fantasy.
The Sherbourne could provide a series of oases through the city around which could gather small developments by small traders, the backbone of the nation, to provide services that the citizens want rather than those that the giant corporations want to impose upon us to secure their bottom lines.
Fools know the cost-benefit of everything and the value of nothing.
Colin Walker, Craven Street, Chapelfields.