High Street closure proposed to ensure social distancing at Bridgnorth market
Senior officers from Shropshire Council and Bridgnorth Town Council are visiting the Saturday market in Bridgnorth High Street tomorrow (Saturday 18 July 2020) to ensure that it can operate safely to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Concerns have been raised about the lack of social distancing at the market, whilst people are browsing and shopping at stalls and waiting in shop entrances. In part this is due to obstructions on pavements, such as wheelie bins, but also due to the siting of market stalls placed too close to the pavement to allow for social distancing.
The intention is that the closure of High Street on Saturdays from 25 July will provide additional space to enable market stalls to move away from the public thoroughfares – so that they do not become overly congested and deter trade or encroach on waiting space for shopkeepers.
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.”
The Shropshire Council and Bridgnorth Town 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Shropshire Council at SocialDistancingMeasures@shropshire.gov.uk.