Published on 11 June 2021
At the last regular review meeting between Warwickshire County Council, as the Highway Authority, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, the decision has been taken to remove the temporary measures introduced last year to support the safe reopening of businesses in and around Stratford town centre.
The measures were introduced last summer, in line with Government requirements that temporary adjustments be made to allocation of town centre space to enable safe re-opening of the economy while maintaining public safety by allowing for social distancing measures.
This strategy successfully supported the return of residents and visitors to the town's shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and other businesses as they reopened after the first lockdown.
The temporary scheme, which has been adapted throughout the year in line with changing guidance and needs of local businesses, included the introduction of barriers on Bridge Street to increase space for pedestrians and shoppers and suspension of parking on the street. High Street has seen timed closures between 11am-6pm.
Works to remove these schemes will be carried out according to Government guidance, to tie in with the ending of all restrictions on 21st June. If, of course, that date is changed when the Prime Minister makes his announcement on 14th June the measures will remain in place until the new 'unlocking' date.
To meet the 21st June date, and to minimise disruption, the works on Bridge Street will take place overnight from Monday 21st - Wednesday 23rd June. High Street will fully reopen to traffic on Monday 21st June.
Although the removal of the scheme will see a return to pre-pandemic traffic management there is an early opportunity to make some of the benefits realised over the last 12 months permanent.
The temporary speed reduction in and around the town centre to 20mph, will be made permanent, having met with a high level of approval among local residents and businesses. The necessary legal process to obtain a Traffic Regulation Order has been started and is being funded through a S.106 developer contribution by Pragnells Ltd.
In addition, the feedback of businesses on High Street who have benefitted from the timed closure of High Street, allowing extra space for tables and chairs outside, has been very positive.
Those businesses looking to apply for a street café licence should go to https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/cafelicence, those looking for a pavement licence should go to https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/licences-businesses/apply-pavement-licence-outdoor-seating/1 while parking bay suspension guidance can be found at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/parking after the temporary timed closure comes to an end.
Councillor Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for Transport and Planning, said: "We have been working closely with all our partners in the town throughout this scheme's lifespan and have always made every effort to be flexible and accommodate the wishes of businesses and pedestrians wherever it was possible to safely do so.
"Now, as we draw towards what we hope will be a more stable return to normal, we can no longer justify keeping the scheme in place. I would like to thank local businesses for working with us in a very difficult period where we have had to balance the needs of the local economy with the need to keep social distancing in place and control the transmission of the virus."
Daren Pemberton, portfolio holder for Place and Economy at Stratford District Council, said: "The County Council and its partner authorities in Stratford were required to move quickly when the pandemic began. The temporary scheme was not without controversy but it is clear that it has had a beneficial impact in supporting the economic recovery of the town. The pavement licence system affords an opportunity for businesses to cement their recovery through 2021. In addition, the embedding of a 20mph speed limit is a significant step forward in enhancing the resident and visitor experience of the town."
Kevin Taylor, Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, said: "The pandemic drove us into unchartered waters, but some of the enforced measures developed into real benefits for businesses, particularly in High Street. I would urge those businesses to apply for a pavement license so this continental approach and feeling of vibrancy is retained."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575