In response to government advice Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) agreed to temporarily close two town centre roads to promote the safety of shoppers when more shops re-open on Monday 15 June.
ELAC unanimously agreed to temporarily pedestrianise Market Street and High Street within Eastleigh Town Centre to provide a safe trading environment and enable safe queuing and social distancing through the provision of additional road space to allow pedestrians to pass safely.
The Government is advising local authorities to make appropriate changes to local roads to help with social distancing for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Eastleigh town centre is a priority area due to the high footfall.
With more non-essential retail shops due to open and restrictions to the number of people allowed in a shop at any one time, the demand for space for customers to queue on pavements will increase and in time businesses, particularly the food service industry, may want more space to operate outside. The colonnades, various street furniture and limited crossing points also provide obstacles that concentrate movement in certain areas along both roads.
Chair of ELAC Cllr Paul Bicknell said, “The unanimous decision by ELAC to close High Street and Market Street is a great way to help our town centre to re-open and, most importantly, to help protect the safety of shoppers. The introduction of these and other social distancing measures in our town will help to create a safe trading environment for businesses and shoppers. We want to ensure that everyone who uses our town centre is confident they have safe space in which to shop and walk around the town especially as numbers increase as we move forward in the future. It's important that shops and businesses are supported in this way while protecting Public Health which is as always our number one priority”
Cabinet Lead for Economy Cllr Derek Pretty said, “We're committed to providing as safe a shopping environment as possible and at the same time we want to do all we can to help businesses in the borough as we begin the economic recovery. Our town centre shops and businesses contribute a great deal to our local economy and we want to see them continuing to trade successfully in the future.”
For more information including a map of the new changes together with FAQ’s for residents and businesses visit https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/coronavirus-information/shop-safely