Parade in Leamington to remain temporarily pedestrianised to support the safe reopening of the town centre in April
The Parade in Leamington will remain pedestrianised temporarily when 'non-essential' shops in the town centre re-open in April.
The temporary road layout has been in place across the county since June 2020, to create space for social distancing and enable the safe reopening of town centres after the initial lockdown.
It has been agreed that, as more of the town’s retail and other businesses can expect to re-open in the coming weeks, the Parade and intersecting side streets will remain closed to most vehicles.
This will give space for visitors to safely social distance whilst also allowing businesses to maximise any opportunity to use outside space.
Access will be retained for delivery vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
This pedestrianisation is expected to remain in place until the Government announces the easing of all restrictions on social distancing, a date currently set as June 21st at the earliest.
At that point, provided all of the Government tests have been met at each stage of the Roadmap, all of the temporary measures will be removed.
At the same time, Warwickshire County Council will start work with partners and stakeholders to consider the longer-term future of road space within the town centre.
Using lessons learnt from these temporary arrangements, they will consult on options for how road layouts and transport movements could be changed in the future.
Councillor Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Transport and Planning, said: “The temporary road layouts have been an essential piece of work to enable the safer reopening of the town centre and still have a very important role to play as more businesses reopen in coming weeks.
“The road layout measures have generated a wide range of comments from residents, businesses and other stakeholders and have given us a lot of learning to take forward.
"In time, there will be a consultation around future planning for the town centre and the responses we have received will be invaluable in developing that.”
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, added: “This additional certainty is helpful as we carefully navigate re-opening our town centre. Whilst the temporary closure has provided valuable social distancing space and learning, a variety of unresolved challenges remain so we welcome the consultative approach being proposed in future.
“Now our focus is on supporting local businesses to safely open and we are grateful for the continued community support.
"This includes supporting hospitality businesses located both inside and outside of the Parade closure to safely make use of public realm areas, as they trade outdoors until at least May 17.”
There is a streamlined process currently in place for businesses to apply for a Pavement Licence, which allows them to use their external space.