We are introducing changes to Thornbury High Street to help protect our residents against coronavirus and save lives as lockdown restrictions are eased and the local economy continues to recover.
From Monday 8 June, the High Street between The Close and Castle Court will be closed to all through traffic, effectively pedestrianising the town centre, to allow people to shop safely by staying two metres apart.
We all need to abide by the guidelines to protect each other and help to control the virus and save lives. These measures will enable social distancing when non-essential shops are allowed to reopen on 15 June as some retailers can trade from directly outside their premises and more people can queue outside shops whilst remaining two metres apart. We are also preparing for when cafes, pubs and restaurants may be allowed to reopen.
Traffic will be diverted via Midland Way, Rock Street, Quaker Lane and on to The Plain.
We are working with bus operators to divert any affected services and provide bus stops to allow town centre access from Rock Street. Notices to advise people of the changes will be displayed on relevant bus stops.
The changes in Thornbury will initially be implemented under a Temporary Road Closure and will later be followed up by an Experimental Traffic Order which may potentially run for 18 months before being made permanent. We will be monitoring the situation closely and liaising with councillors and business representatives in the town.
We will continue to work with traders in accommodating access for deliveries. Access for residents, deliveries and refuse collection will be maintained 24 hours a day until more appropriate time restrictions for a pedestrianised shopping area can be agreed through the Experimental Traffic Order consultation.
This measure has been agreed with local councillors and discussed with traders in the town on a trial basis to provide support for businesses to reopen with COVID-19 social distancing measures in place.
Cllr Steve Reade, Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment, said: “This closure is part of our emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to help stop the spread of the virus and save lives in our local communities as lockdown eases.
“Thornbury High Street is a very popular destination and we hope through this action, supporting the community as we navigate the recovery post-COVID outbreak, the local economy will remain strong and people will be able to sustain their businesses and keep their jobs.
“The change in Thornbury is one of a range of measures we are looking to take across South Gloucestershire to keep people safe, and because of the speed of their introduction they will be subject to regular constructive review.
“We will be announcing additional schemes across South Gloucestershire in due course.”
This scheme is one of many we are delivering across South Gloucestershire as part of our emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic to help residents follow the current social distancing guidelines. We also aim to help support businesses, allow people to safely get to work and to walk and cycle safely as well as to help schools reopen.
Details of further schemes will be announced over the coming weeks once they are confirmed. The funding for this work comes from central Government through the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
We have also adapted our Local Transport Priority List (Assess and Decide) process for considering requests from residents. We welcome any useful suggestions from the public. If there are any interim measures we can implement to easily help people maintain social distancing we will put these in place as soon as possible. For more information and to make a suggestion please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/local-transport-priority-list