03/06/2020 Press Release – Temporary Pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury High Street

SHAFTESBURY TOWN COUNCIL
Town Hall, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8LY

FROM:         The Town Clerk, Mrs Claire Commons
DATE:          1st June 2020
SUBJECT:    Temporary Pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury High Street

Plans are underway to introduce temporary safety measures to the High Street in Shaftesbury.

The Town Centre with its narrow pavements means shoppers cannot currently socially Distance safely. To practice social distancing with queues along pavements, one in and one out in the smaller shops creating potential queues outside shops, pedestrians would need to step into the road to keep the 2m distance. This is not safe.

The plan will support businesses in the Town Centre to re-open however will enable social distancing measures to be introduced. The plan follows guidance from Government that specifically asks Local Authorities

to consider measures such as widening footways and road closures hence the plan to look at temporarily pedestrianising the High street.

To cope with pre lockdown volume of traffic the project team needed to think differently and extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.  A collective project team has been set up and members include the Chamber of Commerce, Councillors Brown and Proctor and local business owners all working together to bring the project to life. The project team also includes officers from Dorset Council Highways and Economic Development teams. Their expertise and valuable guidance is critical as we develop the plan together.

The plan is for the High Street to be closed from the Angel Lane junction through to the Grosvenor Hotel. Feedback from businesses, residents and councillors is all being considered. The feedback includes concerns around provision of disabled parking and temporary bus stops, vehicle flow, signage and general parking provision. Business engagement will continue over the coming days.

Concerns regarding deliveries have been considered and the plan at this stage is to close the High Street as described between 9 and 4 across 7 days of the week with the exclusion of delivery vehicles. These vehicles will be permitted access on a one-way in and one-way out basis via a manned temporary barrier.

It is expected that when the safety measures are introduced the Thursday Market will return to the High Street. STC look forward to welcoming back the market traders to sell goods to the public in a safe environment where social distancing measures have been introduced to give shoppers the confidence to return.

The effect of the pedestrianised High Street will be reviewed by project team, Highways and Economic Development Officers on a weekly basis. No definitive timescales can be presented at this stage as these measures will be reviewed in line with Government guidance.

Shaftesbury Town Council will produce regular updates to inform residents and

businesses of the progress with the plan and will share the reaction of the public with the new temporary shopping experience in Shaftesbury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

END

For further information contact Shaftesbury Town Council, Tel: 01747 852420 or email: enquiries@shaftesbury-tc.gov.uk

 

 

Note to Editor: the image showing pedestrians in the High Street is taken from the Food and Drink festival and pre-Covid 19.