Published on 17 March 2021
As preparations gather momentum towards the reopening of non-essential retail and the hospitality sector in Stratford town centre, a review meeting has been held to look at the road space reallocation measures to ensure visitors and businesses' safety.
Representatives from Warwickshire County Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Stratford-Upon-Avon Town Council and Stratforward met this week to discuss any adaptations required to the temporary scheme set up last summer to provide additional space for pedestrians to safely circulate, for customers to queue outside shops and for businesses to expand to meet customer needs.
When the second lockdown closed the town to all but a few visitors, the decision was made to reopen the High Street during the daytime. However, to support safer travel around the town, the timed closure of the High Street will be reinstated every day from 11am-6pm from March 29th, the date when the new rule of six, or two households, is brought into place. This, along with the Easter break, is expected to see an increase in visitors to the town centre.
This decision will be reviewed in late May but is expected to remain in place until 21st June at least. Any decision to extend this will be made at that review meeting.
The barriers on Bridge Street will also remain allowing more space to be allocated for pedestrians and for tables and chairs to be located there. Again, that will be reviewed at a later date in the summer.
Councillor Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for Transport and Planning, said: "We have been working with our key partners to get Stratford town centre ready to safely reopen. We want to do all that we can to support local businesses to make sure that they can get their businesses back up and running while continuing to be vigilant against the spread of the virus.
"We will continue to work with them and take on board any feedback in the coming weeks as we see how the partial reopening of the town takes shape."
Cllr Matt Jennings, Tourism and Economic Development Portfolio at Stratford District Council said: "Our primary concern and duty is the safety of the public. With this in mind we support the County Council's decision to re-introduce the High Street road closures in on a temporary basis from the 29th March.
"In line with current projected government guidelines and taking into account that these may change closer to the time, we will review the situation in May."
Cllr Tony Jackson, Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon and member of Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, said: "Our priority is to ensure public safety at all times. As Easter approaches and spring is definitely in the air, it is imperative that we are ready to re-open safely and responsibly as we look forward to welcoming residents and visitors back into town."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575