WE are pleased to see that improving the transport situation has been placed at the heart of a blueprint for the town's future.

The traffic in and out of Kendal town centre can be frustrating to say the least.

However, the way to achieve a Kendal transport utopia (if such a thing can ever exist) is bound to spark debate.

The newly-published Kendal Vision mentions making changes to the one-way system, bulldozing the bus station to push bus termination out of the centre, and reinventing the train station as a public transport hub and town gateway.

Following a public consultation last year, the new vision has also proposed a new retail quarter to replace Westmorland Shopping Centre, an overhaul of tired buildings like the Jobcentre and Telephone Exchange in favour of modern office space, a new student accommodation area and more support for the troubled Hallgarth estate.

These are all interesting ideas. But it is important to point out that at this stage, Kendal Vision is

exactly that - a vision.

The document is not a list of what will definitely happen, and instead will inform private and public investment in the town, and act as a pointer for council planners when they make decisions about development in years to come.

Some of Kendal's major employers have backed it, knowing any boost to the town centre would be a boon for the local economy.

Improvements will make the town a more attractive place to visit and indeed for young local people to remain rather than seeking jobs elsewhere.

But it's also important that any radical changes to the town don't ruin its unique character.

The retail centre of Kendal currently has plenty to offer.

For a town of its size,it has more than its fair share of high street brands, quirky little shops, modern cafes and bistros, traditional pubs, indoor and outdoor market stalls, not to mention a strong sense of its own history and culture.

While a £1bn injection into the town over the next decade would be very welcome, we hope it isn't made at the expense of what already makes Kendal a great place to live, work and shop.

We are interested to hear what our readers think of Kendal Vision or indeed if you have any suggestions of your own.