Press Statement: Temporary Pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury High Street

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

FROM:         The Town Clerk, Mrs Claire Commons
DATE:          21st July 2020
SUBJECT:    Temporary Pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury High Street

Shaftesbury Town is unique with its array of wonderful independent High Street retailers, a town we are all proud to work and live in. Never has a time been so important than now to support our independent businesses as they continue to recover from the challenges of the lock-down. When you visit an independent local business you keep more money in the local community, support local jobs and enable our High Street to flourish. We urge our community to stay local and shop local!

Temporary safety measures to the High Street in Shaftesbury were introduced with effect from 15th June 2020 to align with government advice and enabling non-essential shops to re- open. While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control. On 23rd June, the government issued further guidance around the relaxation of social distancing from 2m to 1m+

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 1m+ distance. This is not safe and hence the temporary pedestrianisation in the High Street will be extended until November 2020. These measures will continue to be reviewed in line with Government guidance therefore if the social distancing guidelines are relaxed then the High Street will revert back to full vehicular access.

The effect of the pedestrianised High Street continues to be reviewed by the project team, Highways and Economic Development Officers on a weekly basis. Over 1,000 shoppers have responded to the recent survey. All comments and feedback from the survey responses will be reviewed and considered to determine the approach to managing the next phase of the temporary pedestrianisation.

The government will continue to keep the public informed of the impact of coronavirus on the UK, and the law and guidance that is in place to protect the public. In turn Shaftesbury Town Council will continue to keep its business community and residents up to date as life starts to slowly return to the new normal.

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