Following the Prime Minister’s announcement around the social distancing relaxation for many places due to come in on 4 July, a review of traffic arrangements on the Central Prom has been conducted.
From tomorrow (Wednesday 1 July), Central Prom will be reopened to two-way traffic. The parking bays on the sea-ward side will also be reopened. However, due to the smaller width of the footpath on the land-ward side, parking bays on that side of the road will remain closed. Additionally, barriers will be put in place to allow pedestrians to have more circulation space and allow more space for queueing at the retail outlets on that side of the road, particularly timely as the resort gears up for a post-COVID summer season.
These measures are being put in place to help boost trade in the resort as it tries to re-establish itself in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, councillors are clear that should the measures either not work, or result in a spike in the numbers, then closures will be reinstated.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, Cabinet member for highways, said: “I’d like firstly to thank people who were in the resort in the last few weekends for generally acting responsibly and helping us with the new arrangements. We have a lovely resort here, and realised early on that we would need to do something to spread visitors out through the resort to help them maintain social distancing.
“However, we think that the time has come for us to open the central prom back up to increase the available parking. Officers will be monitoring the situation on the proms, and should we need to, we can consider re-closing the area. We want to create a safe resort for everyone to enjoy, both local people and visitors. But people need to maintain social distancing and follow the Government guidelines to keep our resort safe.”
Digital signs introduced at key entrances to the resort will remain in place to advise of alternative parking in the resort and to reinforce the safe distancing requirements.
In other areas of the resort (Sea View Street, St Peter’s Avenue and Market Place area), the traffic management will remain in place, but will be monitored and considered in light of further Government guidance which may be issued in the future.