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Wiltshire Council and Malmesbury Town Council working in partnership to improve town's social distancing schemes

Improvements to the social distancing scheme on High Street will enable people to shop safely.

Published 10 November 2020
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Wiltshire Council and Malmesbury Town Council are working in partnership to make improvements to the social distancing scheme on High Street to enable people to shop safely.

To ensure people can maintain social distancing safely and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic, the measures introduced in Malmesbury High Street and Oxford Street in June will continue to be applied for the foreseeable future.

Malmesbury's High Street has a combination of narrow pavements and independent shops, and the current scheme, which includes wider pavements and the removal of on-street parking in the upper High Street, was designed to ensure shoppers and visitors could safely social distance.

From Wednesday 18 November, nine 30-minute parking bays on High Street will be available, along with a new Blue Badge parking bay and two free one-hour on-street parking spaces in Gloucester Street. Free parking times in the Market Cross and Gloucester Street will be one hour.

The rest of the upper High Street and Oxford Street, up to its junction with Market Lane, will continue to benefit from wider pedestrian areas. The two-hour free parking in long-stay Station Yard car park will continue. Temporary loading and unloading bays in the upper High Street and the two Blue Badge parking bays in Market Cross are being maintained.

Later in the month the scheme will be updated with a combination of planters and better quality pole cones to improve the overall look and feel of the High Street for shoppers and visitors.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "The current scheme was always planned to be a temporary one that we could make changes to if required. Following local feedback, we have agreed with the town council to make these changes, which will be in place later this month, in time for the reopening of shops and businesses.

"The new planters will make the High Street a more welcoming place for shoppers and visitors, while helping to keep them safe by giving them more room to socially distance.

"The reinstated parking spaces will also make it easier for people to pop into the High Street shops for up to half an hour, which will support businesses providing click and collect services and improve accessibility to all local businesses once they reopen.

"This is a great example of partnership working between Wiltshire Council and Malmesbury Town Council, and represents a good compromise that helps to keep shoppers safe and also encourages more people to visit the town's businesses."

Campbell Ritchie, Mayor of Malmesbury, said: "We value the support of Wiltshire Council in working to deliver the improved scheme. The changes mean Malmesbury will continue to be a safe and welcoming place to visit, shop and socialise for as long as social distancing is required.

"The new facilities will be a particular benefit to Malmesbury residents and visitors from or surrounding villages who value the convenience of shopping in the town's very special High Street.

"We have a great range of local essential shops that are remaining open to support the community during this second lockdown, and we are looking forward to all our businesses reopening as quickly as possible."

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