Bridgnorth High Street to close on Saturdays to help social distancing

Bridgnorth High Street is to be closed on Saturdays to help people keep a safe distance apart at the town's market.

A file photo showing Bridgnorth High Street closed for the market
A file photo showing Bridgnorth High Street closed for the market

The street will be closed to cars from next weekend to allow traders and customers to properly social distance.

Senior officers from Shropshire Council and Bridgnorth Town Council visited the market in on Saturday to ensure it can operate safely to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Concerns have been raised about a lack of social distancing due to obstructions on pavements, such as wheelie bins, but also due to the siting of market stalls placed too close to the pavement.

The council plans to close the High Street on Saturdays from July 25, in the hope it will provide additional space to enable market stalls to move away from the public so that they do not become overly congested and deter trade.

Steve Davenport, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "It is likely that some stall holders will be required either to move away from the pavements, perhaps even turn their stalls around so that customers might approach market stalls from the centre of the closed High Street. It is likely that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be possible.

"The likely changes will need the full co-operation of all market traders if we are to implement a plan that can satisfy the government guidance. These steps are being taken to allow the market to continue to trade and in a Covid secure manner.

"The overriding concern at this time is public health. However, we are mindful of the benefits of doing what we reasonably can to manage the situation that is reasonable for all."

Council officers will be looking to collect contact details of all High Street market traders to ensure that they can be communicated with effectively during the course of next week. This will ensure that market traders can be informed of firm proposals of how and where they will be expected to operate.

Any trader who would like to comment can send their thoughts to the town council at info@bridgnorthtowncouncil.gov.uk and Shropshire Council at SocialDistancingMeasures@shropshire.gov.uk.

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