1.6.2020

Government Announces New Radical Blueprint to Save the High Street

Written by James Shaw

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The plans drawn up by the Ministry of Housing, communities & local government urge local authorities to pedestrianise town centres including outdoor shops and a ban on cars.

Guidance has been sent out to local councils detailing new measures designed to allow “non-essential” retailers to open on 15th June.

The plans urge local councils to reduce the amount of traffic by either closing roads, creating a one-way system or even pedestrianising entire areas within town centres.

Other measures in the blueprints include narrowing roads to widen pavements, mass introduction of cycle paths, and employing marshals to help people in and out of transport hubs.

The blueprints also detail guidance for businesses which include building doorways being kept clear, with temporary barriers erected. Inside businesses, it is proposed that there are supermarket style floor markings to direct where people stand, and signs reminding people to socially distance themselves.

This comes as High Street Minister, Simon Clarke, announced the “Reopening High Streets Safely” fund last week - a £50million fund for local councils designed to support their local high streets to kick start local economies.

The money will not only be used to help businesses implement social distancing measures but also for marketing campaigns to reassure the public and help drive footfall back to the high street.

An emergency active travel fund of £250million is also in place to install pop up cycle lanes, make junctions safer and widen pavements with cycle and bus only corridors put in place.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he expects councils “to make significant changes to their road layouts” adding “In the new world, pedestrians will need more space”.

This comes as the government’s first phase of ending lockdown begins with outdoor markets and car showrooms opening today, to be followed by all non-essential businesses on 15th June.

In the absence of additional government advice around queuing, retailers will be required to work with nearby businesses to develop safe practices. For more advice on how to safely reopen your retail business, see our complete guide here.

We’ve also created some free signage so you can easily communicate your social distancing measures to customers:

Click Here to Download