Motorists warned to observe social distancing measures in Bishop's Stortford town centre
Motorists have been warned “further measures will follow” if they ignore social distancing restrictions in Bishop's Stortford town centre.
As lockdown was eased, highways authority Herts County Council installed temporary plastic barriers. They have now been replaced with semi-permanent planters to enforce road closures and give priority to pedestrians.
As well as footpath widening in Dane Street and Station Road , the council has closed South Street to through traffic, imposed a one-way system for Newtown Road and shut Apton Road at the junction with Potter Street.
However, drivers have been ignoring the barriers. Cllr Colin Woodward told the Indie: “As a local resident and a county councillor for the town centre, I’m pleased to see further highway measures to support social distancing that strive to keep us protected from Covid-19 while encouraging safer visits to our shops and other businesses.
“I urge drivers to respect the road closure to through traffic and, if legitimately entering the town centre in a vehicle, to slow down and always give way to pedestrians using the carriageway for social distancing. Further measures may have to follow if that doesn’t happen.”
Before the planters were installed on Monday last week (Oct 12), he witnessed some of the difficulties caused in Newtown Road when a delivery lorry to the Bridge House pub blocked the road. He talked to the publican, the brewery, police and the town and county councils about breaches of the rules.
There have also been problems in Apton Road, where motorists were seen mounting the pavement to manoeuvre around the planters before plastic barriers were added.
One benefit of the new regime was the opportunity to clear the drains in the centre section of South Street while the road was closed.
A gulley team from highways contractor Ringway attended. Cllr Woodward is hopeful it will resolve flooding in the area during heavy rainfall.