Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce, made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID, says that safety remains a top priority as many town centre businesses prepare to re-open in December.
Shropshire Council have confirmed that the pedestrian zone along High Street will be re-introduced from 11am-4pm to enable more space for people to move around and observe social distancing during the busiest part of the day.
Incoming traffic will not be permitted up Wyle Cop and along High Street during the hours of 11am-4pm and drivers needing to traverse the town centre will be encouraged to use the inner ring road.
All car parks will remain open and accessible with no charges in all Shropshire Council car parks from 11am each day from 3rd December until 17th January.
Kevin Lockwood, manager of Shrewsbury Shopping Centres and part of the Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce, said: “Everyone is understandably very keen to see some sort of normality returning, and it’s good news that shops and restaurants are hoping to open their doors again in December, although some hospitality businesses will have to remain closed whilst we are in Tier 2 restrictions.
“It is absolutely vital that we all remember the basics, just like we did back in the summer, to observe social distancing, sanitise our hands and wear masks inside public spaces.
“Removing through-traffic from the centre of town enables us to create a more comfortable and spacious environment for people.
“We are also looking to remove some of the street furniture on Pride Hill to make it easier for people to follow the rules.
“We all need to keep doing everything we can to keep Shrewsbury safe and welcoming for everyone.”
Extra cleaning operatives, funded by Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce, are continuing to patrol the town centre, sanitising common touchpoints like cashpoints, bus stops and benches to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Town centre traders are also being reminded of the importance of ensuring their customers can maintain social distancing and good hygiene practices.
Stacey Hill, owner of Oberon on Wyle Cop and Shrewsbury BID board director, said that re-introducing the pedestrian zone was very positive move to provide customers with a safe and welcoming environment for people to do their shopping.
She added: “We are so excited to be opening our doors once again, and I know traders have spent a lot of time during lockdown making sure our shops are super safe.
“Removing through-traffic has been very popular with shoppers because it allows so much more space for people, as well as improving the general atmosphere, so we will be happy to see the pedestrian zone being brought back into action.”
Alexis Hill, operations manager at The Loopy Shrew and Shrewsbury BID board director, said Shrewsbury continued to be a very safe place to visit.
He said: “As we head out of lockdown again, we are all keen to see the retail and hospitality businesses throughout the town thrive, and see a level of normality return to our lives.
“Being in Tier 2 does present additional challenges for the hospitality sector, and of course many businesses will still be unable to open, so we all need to keep abiding by the rules in the hope that restrictions can be eased sooner rather than later.
“The work that the Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce has done, and the initiatives that they have put in place, will no doubt ensure that Shrewsbury is, once again, one of the safest places to shop, eat, and drink.”