Work to introduce temporary pavement widening in some towns across Powys is due to start shortly. The infrastructure will allow people to social distance more safely when visiting – and queueing for – shops and, in turn, allow businesses to safely get back to work sooner.
Powys County Council is considering placing temporary barriers and cones, where necessary, in the main shopping streets across Powys including Brecon and Crickhowell.
Councillor Heulwen Hulme, is the Cabinet Member responsible for this work and she commented: “Like many other councils across the UK, we are taking this action to make it easier for people to socially distance when they are in town centres. As we know, some of our town centres have narrow pavements which don’t lend themselves to safe social distancing without walking on the road. As road traffic increases we need to introduce safe spaces for people to walk.”
She explained that temporary barriers and cones will be used to section off the walking spaces by removing on street parking – disabled parking bays will remain though. There may also be temporary road closures in some towns, but access for deliveries and street residence will remain.
“These measures will also make it easier for businesses to cope with people who may need to queue outside their premises, so as to comply with social distancing. It may mean that some businesses will be able to get back to work sooner than they would otherwise,” she added.
“You may have seen similar arrangements in large towns and cities across the UK however we know that our small rural towns will have different needs and this will mean different solutions for Powys ‘high streets’.”
To assist with the implementation and evolution of this process, an acting liaison officer will provide support and engagement with town councils and the local community during the coming weeks. Further details will be announced in due course.
The temporary infrastructure will be introduced, where necessary, in the listed towns initially before the council looks at other communities in the county. These are the initial and temporary measures, and the council will be working closely with local councillors and businesses to refine the best possible solutions as the situation develops.
Welsh Government introduced emergency legislation – and a funding stream – in May of this year to enable this work to take place.
Powys County Council