Temporary measures to protect businesses and high street users
We have introduced a range of measures to protect people and support local businesses in 16 towns and larger villages to facilitate social distancing to help people stay safe when visiting their local High Street.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that the public adheres to guidance on social distancing, we are keen to help both residents and business communities stay safe to ensure that public health is protected during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our priority is to protect people and our local businesses.
Introduced for 15 June 2020, the measures will be under constant review, and may be further tailored to meet local circumstances.
The temporary measures include:
- social distancing awareness signs at bus and rail stations and at bus stops
- signs and pavement markings to raise awareness of the need to social distance
- localised temporary road closures in town centres, where there is expected to be high footfall and extra space is needed for pedestrians and queuing at shops
- increased pedestrian or cycle access in some town centres through adjustments to traffic restrictions
- temporary closure of a small number of town centre car parks, where access to these compromises the space available for social distancing
- temporary suspension of some parking spaces and laybys, where these can provide extra space for widening footpaths to help pedestrians respect social distancing rules.
- Road closures and parking bay suspensions (PDF, 94KB)
More information on where blue badge holders can and cannot park can be found on our blue badge pages.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that the public adheres to guidance on social distancing, we are keen to help both residents and business communities come out of lockdown safely, ensuring that public health is protected.
Our priority is to protect people and our local businesses.
Social Distancing Measures Plans
Explanation of the temporary measures.
We are introducing the closures after careful consideration of our town centres. It is incorrect to think they are permanent. They are temporary measures.
We believe it is necessary to act in areas where footpath are narrow, footfall is high and shops have limited internal space. In these areas, we expect greater need for queuing on street when shops re-open. We have decided to close roads to traffic to make more space for pedestrians and shoppers to ensure that safe social-distancing is possible.
The temporary measures will be under constant review once implemented and may be further tailored to meet local circumstances, with the option to remove completely should that be deemed appropriate.
These measures are intended to help residents and businesses come out of lockdown safely, ensuring that public health is protected and enable social distancing to take place, and shoppers to queue safely before entering shops on the high street.
No decision has been taken about making permanent pedestrian areas in any town or high street area, based on these temporary closures.
Road access for businesses, residents, cyclists and buses
We will maintain essential access for servicing businesses and residential properties throughout the closures.
Emergency vehicles will also be able to access any roads that are closed at all times.
The closures are ‘Except Cyclists’ which means you can cycle down road that are closed. We always encourage cyclists to behave responsibly and “share with care” when cycling within the closed areas.
Most bus routes are unaffected by the closures, as they are ‘Except Buses’.
Where a bus route needs to be diverted, we have been talking with the bus company about this.
It is important to note that many bus routes are operating reduced timetables as a result of the lockdown. This is not directly related to the introduction of these closures. Bus users are advised to check with their bus operator in advance of their journey.
There is no specific exemption for disabled drivers. If a vehicle requires access to a property within the closure this will be possible. However, we are asking the public to observe closures wherever that is possible to allow space for people to social distance in the interests of public health.
Our main aim is to protect people and support local businesses. The closures are temporary to enable us to adhere to government legislation. This means that people can safely queue outside shops, and social distance when visiting high streets.
The measures are temporary and experimental – meaning improvements can be made at a very local level.
Essential access will remain in place for businesses to receive deliveries during the temporary closures.
Where businesses require deliveries, we ask traders to endeavour to limit most deliveries to hours outside the core hours of 9am to 5pm to avoid proceeding into the closed area when footfall is greatest.
If your business operates in the evening, for example operates a takeaway service, access, there is likely to be less conflict outside the core hours of 9am to 5pm. And access will be allowed to enable you to deliver your business services.
Businesses should recognise that the road is closed during the day, so if travel is required during core road closed hours, there may be a requirement to clarify why access is essential if passing into the closed area.
Notice of measures
With regards to notice of these temporary measures, we publicised the proposed closures on Friday 5 June, giving 7-days notice in accordance with national regulations.
Local media, our website and social media channels all carried information on the proposed closures. Town and parish councils for the areas affected were also advised so they could help to publicise the measures.
Essential access means any deliveries required for a shop or business to function, such as re-stocking, where this cannot be achieved without access through the closures.
Emergency access also includes all blue light responses from ambulance, police and fire services.
Essential access also includes resident of properties within the closure who require access to their homes for transport of goods or people, where this cannot be achieved without proceeding through the closure.
Whilst access remains for businesses to continue their services, we ask traders and resident to minimise trips into the closed area when footfall is greatest.
We are working on additional measures to support active travel during the recovery stages after lockdown. In the next stage, we seek to deliver measures outside of town centres, to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists.
As the plans, with temporary measures are completed, they will be uploaded below. All of these plans are indicative and subject to change during setting out on site.
If the road closures affect your usual route of travel, you are advised to plan ahead for your journey. Where a road is outlined for temporary closure, it will be closed to all through traffic. The roads will have access only for essential business deliveries and residents.
How these measures came about
We are adhering to government legislation to keep the public and local businesses safe as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
These measures are temporary and experimental.
Each of the measures has been carefully considered, taking into account the local road network. Where one-way systems are practical we have proposed them, if they are not, fill road closures have been proposed.
The measures have been informed by ward members, town and parish councils. If you would like to make a suggestion about changing them, you can contact your local ward member, town or parish council.
The equalities assessment for these closures is a working document that is maintained and will be reviewed periodically throughout the closures.
All of these plans are indicative and subject to change during setting out on site.
Timescales for the temporary measures
We recognise people will want to know how long these temporary measure will be in place for. We continue to look to government for an update on when measures can be eased across the local area. Therefore measures will be temporarily in place until we no longer need to adhere to their emergency legislation.