Preparations underway to support opening the city’s high streets safely
Published: 9 June 2020
Planning is currently underway to support the safe reopening of the city, as lock down measures are eased from 15th June.
Following Government’s recent announcement that high streets can reopen, and people are able to visit non-essential retail outlets, the Council has been working with businesses and partners to support them putting the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures in place to enable the city’s high street to be as safe as possible for residents, visitors and traders.
This has involved introducing new temporary measures to further manage the public open spaces, particularly in the central retail area where there is likely to be heavy footfall and the need to utilise the highway space, in assisting adjacent retail properties to manage queues and adapt access arrangements to their premises.
The measures include the introduction of one-way pedestrian routes, additional signage for businesses, and street and pavement markings, enabling shoppers and workers to observe social distancing, and reduce the spread of the virus. Further signage will be used in the bus station, intu shopping centre, and city centre car parks, to guide and reassure the public, along with hand sanitisation stations in key places.
Street cleansing programmes have also been increased across the city.
Safely reopening the city centre is an important step as we look ahead to the city’s recovery. An economic task force, made up of representatives from both public and private sectors has been formed to lead and drive forward Derby’s economic recovery from the effects of the coronavirus crisis, including a specific workstream on the city centre, which will look at the longer term impacts on the city centre.
The Council recently submitted a £204k ‘Moving Derby Forward’ bid to government to introduce Covid-19 emergency transport measures. The proposals are designed to have a high impact and support pedestrians, and cyclists and create more space to aide social distancing. Once approved, these measures will be implemented within eight weeks.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said:
The pandemic has had a huge impact on our retailers, and it is great news that the high street can start to reopen from Monday, and the city can begin to rebuild, though it is vital that it is reopened as safely as possible for everyone. Giving employees, shoppers and visitors confidence about their personal safety when coming into the city is our priority, and we are working hard to make sure that suitable measures are in place. We all have a part to play in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus, so you should continue to avoid unnecessary journeys, particularly at peak times. If you do visit the city centre, then I would encourage you to do so on foot, or on bike if you can, although I accept this won’t be possible for a lot of residents. However, something that everyone can and should do is maintain social distancing guidelines at all times.
In a joint statement on behalf of the city’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Martin Langsdale, Chair of the Cathedral Quarter Board, and Helen Wathall, Chair of St Peters Quarter Board, said:
From Monday 15th June, we will gradually see more of our stores open in line with Government guidance. Our priority as we start to come out of lockdown is to keep our visitors safe. Nothing is more important to us and we will continue to make sure our centre is a clean and a safe place to be. As well as managing the number of shoppers inside our centre, there will be a raft of other measures in-place including; one-way systems, floor stickers, social distancing guidelines, enhanced hygiene regimes and deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints. We’d like to thank everybody for their patience and support, and we’re looking forward to welcoming back our local community.