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 business as they start to recover from the challenges of the past three months. When you visit an independant local business you keep more money in the local community, support local jobs and enable our High Street to flourish.
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. From Saturday 4th July, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen.
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 plus.
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 26th July. Please find a map here for reference.
The effect of the pedestrianised High Street will continue to 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 continue to be reviewed in line with Government guidance.
On Monday 22nd June initial feedback was gathered from most businesses in the High Street. This feedback was based on the first week’s experience and further engagement has been planned to visit the rest of the business community over the course of this week.
On Tuesday 30th June a shopper survey and a High Street resident survey will be available for the public to complete via the Shaftesbury Town Council website and Facebook page.
It is important that the views of the public and business owners/ representatives are fully understood and the feedback collated accordingly. Once the initial feedback process is complete then the public response will be shared with the wider community.
Cllr Piers Brown, Lead Councillor for Economic Develop says:
“After a week and a half, the temporary pedestrianisation of Shaftesbury’s amazing independent high street, has been a great success in achieving its main goal – allowing for social distancing and ensuring the public is safe and feel confident to shop. It is too early to fully evaluate its success so it is important we gauge feedback from businesses, residents and shoppers. If any businesses have concerns they are my concerns as well. We are aiming to support businesses to alleviate any issues they might be experiencing. The Business Manager and I have and continue to be actively gathering feedback from businesses after a full week of trading. We will also be hoping to find out the support needed for the hospitality sector to reopen on the July 4th (subject to government guidance).”
The government will continue to keep the public informed of the impacts 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.
For further information contact Shaftesbury Town Council, Tel: 01747 852420 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org