Concern as 155 social distancing signs proposed for Ludlow
Locations for signs encouraging social distancing have been looked at after Shropshire Council proposed that 155 be installed in a town.
Town councillors along with Shropshire Council officers were yesterday due to look at locations in Ludlow for signs that would encourage residents and visitors to keep two metres apart.
This comes after the council submitted a provisional proposal on Friday that 155 signs be implemented to maintain social distancing in the town.
However, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, Andy Boddington, believes that so many signs "could feel intimidating".
"That is a huge number of signs for Ludlow," he said. "It is a lot of clutter. It could feel intimidating in a town known for its friendliness."
On Thursday, an extraordinary meeting of Ludlow Town Council’s Representational Committee is due to meet at 7pm, with the sole agenda item being a discussion of the proposed signage.
"The current proposal from Shropshire Council involves an extraordinary number of signs," added Cllr Boddington. "Officers indicate that some will be more important than others. But 108 signs are on Shropshire Council’s priority list.
"My initial reaction is that this is an overreaction. We don’t need to remind people every few metres that they need to socially distance. We just need to tell them that social distancing is the norm in Ludlow."
Cllr Boddington suggested that more subtle measures could be more appropriate.
"A better model would be gateway signs, with a small number of repeaters," he said. "We need signs telling people they are welcome in a socially distanced town, and carefully placed reminders emphasising this is a socially distanced town."
Cllr Boddington emphasized the need to get Ludlow "back into business", and suggested that to achieve this, a balance of extending welcome and encouraging social distancing was required.
"We must get our town back into business," he said. "We must be a welcoming town during the age of coronavirus. We must be open for business and visitors. We must be safe but we must also be sociable in our socially distanced world.
"It’s a hard balance, but I think we need a different approach to that being proposed by Shropshire Council."