As part of the Government’s approach to easing of the lockdown restrictions, schools will be opening to more pupils and some businesses and retail are also preparing to re-open. However, there are concerns about maintaining social distancing and potentially increased traffic as residents are advised not to use public transport if possible.
To allow us to respond to issues of crowding, queuing and public safety, we are publishing statutory notices which will enable us to respond to any such issues by implementing changes to the highway quickly. This is something which we are tasked with, by the Government, and is about us keeping the high streets vibrant and our communities safe.
Changes could include, closing a road, or lanes, outside a school to traffic if deemed necessary to assist with school safety, social distancing and getting children back to school.
It could also include 20mph zones to support and encourage walking and cycling. This is intended more for the high street scenario and where there may be amenities that will start to reopen and the Government wants to encourage people to drive less, or at the very least drive more appropriately and encourage people to walk and cycle.
I would like to stress that at this point these statutory notices are purely a precautionary measure and we have no plans for closures or other changes at present.
It must also be noted that a further announcement will be made by the Government this week, most likely Thursday 28th, when matters may change again.
If and when any changes are deemed necessary, we will publish a secondary notice. Any measures will be temporary only.
We are mindful to keep disruption to a minimum as much as it safe to do so and we hope that people understand and support the effort to protect the vulnerable, keep communities safe and get the economy started again.
Director of Place and Communities.