Union Street Essay

Submitted By guiltycon
Words: 732
Pages: 3

After studying the Exploring Social Lives 2009 DVD on quite a few occasions, the comparison I am making to City Road in Cardiff for the purpose of this essay is Union Street which is the main street in the small town of Larkhall, Lanarkshire. This is the main street running through the town and the majority of the shops in the town are situated on this street. I have chosen this street as there are a few similarities to City Road but also some differences.

Union Street is a lot different to most main streets as it has retained many of the traditional shops and a lot of them are still run by family members of the original owner. There were two supermarkets in the town however one has recently shut down. The remaining supermarket doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on the shops as there are still many traditional shops e.g. butchers, fishmongers, newsagents and even a photo framing shop. It is obvious the larger Co-op store has many benefits but the small shops draw in many customers as they are always busy no matter the day of the week. There are many cafes on Union Street and they are the main meeting place for locals and others to catch up and share stories. These are also the only toilet facilities as there are no other facilities on Union Street so if you need baby changing facilities you better have a cup of tea first.

Like City Road in Cardiff, Union Street is not undercover so you are open to the elements when you walk along it. There are some seating areas so you can take the time to sit and watch what is happening on Union Street. There are always groups of people standing chatting as this street is the only shopping area in Larkhall so most locals shop here. There are larger shopping areas in nearby towns, these are very modern and undercover but if you don’t have access to a car you need to get the bus or train, this is made easier as the train station has recently been re-opened after being closed for over twenty years. Again this doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference to the local shops.

Like City Road, Union Street is a dropping off point for local shops and also has traffic running through it at all times, there are some parking areas but not much access for disabled drivers. This street is also the main bus route for Larkhall so there are bus stops at regular intervals and quite a few sets of traffic lights too.
The main inequality I can see in comparing City Road in Cardiff and Union Street in Larkhall is the lack of ethnic shops.