Shropshire Council has revealed which measures will remain in place, and which fresh ones will come into force for Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Much Wenlock, Church Stretton, and Bishop's Castle, from Monday, April 12.
The date is one of the biggest in the government's 'roadmap' for lifting lockdown, with shops set to be allowed to open, and restaurants and pubs to be able to serve customers outside.
Steve Brown, Shropshire Council’s head of transport and the environment, said: “With lockdown measures set to be eased from April 12 we’ve carefully considered which social distancing measures should be reintroduced, which should remain, and which should be altered.
“We’ve consulted with partners in the market towns and considered the latest available data and guidance, and we’re happy that we’ll have measures in place that will enable people to safely visit our market towns in line with social distancing guidelines.
“We hope that these measures, along with free parking in Shropshire Council car parks, will encourage people to visit our market towns in the coming weeks and support our local traders.”
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “It’s vital that we all continue to work together to make Shrewsbury as safe and welcoming as possible, so people can feel confident to spend time in the town centre supporting our businesses.
“As we welcome people back to the town centre, these traffic interventions will allow people to maintain social distancing and enable hospitality businesses to serve more customers outdoors.”
Adele Nightingale, Oswestry BID Manager, said: “As we all look forward to following the roadmap out of lockdown, it is important that we continue to work together to ensure we maintain social distancing measures in Oswestry so that people feel safe and welcome in our town.
“We would encourage everyone to ‘think local first’ and support all our Oswestry businesses as we start to enjoy getting out and about more.”
As part of the plans free parking will also be in place in most Shropshire Council car parks from April 12 to 25, from 8am to 6pm each day.
The following social distancing measures will be implemented in line with Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap:
Bishop’s Castle, High Street: Measures to support additional footway widths have remained in place throughout the current lockdown and will be retained.
Church Stretton, High Street: Castle Street will remain open one-way only to support additional wider footways, as it has been throughout the current lockdown.
Ludlow, King Street: King Street will be closed to vehicles on Fridays and Saturdays between 10am and 3pm from Friday 16 April, with associated diversions and temporary bus stop facilities in place.
Much Wenlock, High Street: Measures to support additional footway widths have remained in place throughout the current lockdown and will be retained.
Oswestry, Church Street: Will remain open one-way only to support additional wider footways, as it has been throughout the current lockdown.
Shrewsbury, High Street, Shoplatch & Wyle Cop: To support social distancing, High Street will be closed to vehicles every day between 11am and 5pm. Wyle Cop is to be closed uphill but remain open downhill. There will be some adjustments to the on-street parking and loading, with suspension of parking and an extension of the loading bay.
This will provide a safer environment for people to enjoy a vehicle-free town centre. Additional outside space will be created and businesses can apply to use this for tables and chairs to for customers to relax and enjoy their surroundings.
Three bus services, along with the Meole Brace Park and Ride service (when reinstated), will be diverted along Old Roman Road, and signage will be in place to encourage through traffic to use the alternative route.
Additional traffic management measures will be placed on Town Walls to reduce speed and protect pedestrians.
Shrewsbury, Castle Street: From Thursday 8 April the bus lane will be suspended to provide temporary wider footpaths and promote social distancing. Some pay and display parking is to be suspended and alternative loading bays put in place.
Shrewsbury, Victoria Quay: Victoria Quay will be pedestrianised at the following times to primarily provide for adequate social distancing in response to the anticipated increase in footfall to The Quarry and other attractions, as well as providing support to hospitality business in the area. Mondays – Fridays: 7pm until 11pm. Saturdays/Sundays/Bank Holidays: midday until 11pm.
To facilitate access to properties, Priory Road will be made two-way, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.