RUGBY town centre reopens today (Monday June 15) – with a few changes on the way to help with social distancing.
The road network will be altered and other new measures introduced to create a safe shopping environment and support town centres businesses.
A temporary one-way system will be introduced around North Street, Church Street, Clifton Road and Hillmorton Road, with restrictions on on-street parking. The town centre taxi rank will be relocated from the westbound side of the road to the eastbound side.
Extra disabled parking bays will be provided at North Street car park to compensate for the reduction of on-street spaces.
For pedestrians, pavement markers will indicate how far to keep apart, one-way pedestrian flow will be in operation in restricted spaces such as stairwells, and the use of public benches will be restricted.
Touch points such as bin handles and parking machines are being sanitised frequently through the day and North Street toilets are also being cleaned more frequently. All car parks and public toilets remain open.
Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) Community Wardens and Rugby First’s Rangers will be on hand to monitor pinch points and provide help and support to businesses and shoppers where needed.
Not all non-essential shops are reopening immediately, but may be providing additional services either online or via telephone. Some shops are offering appointment systems for a one-to-one approach, or takeaway or delivery services, and may need to be contacted in advance.
Coun Seb Lowe, leader of Rugby Borough Council and leader of the Conservative Group, joined Labour Group leader Coun Maggie O’Rourke and LibDem Group leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse to welcome shoppers back.
The group leaders said: “We are pleased to be able to reopen the town centre and have worked hard at implementing measures to support businesses and keep our residents safe.
“The council will continue to work with partners to monitor our open spaces and ensure that we can support the town centre by making sure that it is a safe and welcoming place to be. We need to “act and adapt” to make sure that these changes work well.”
The group leaders also warned residents may experience delays due to the highway changes being made by Warwickshire County Council, saying: “The new one way system being introduced by the county council will affect nearly every journey that passes close to the town centre. Residents might experience delays and should consider their route.
“We would encourage all residents to consider walking or cycling into town if they can. Every bike rack in the town is mapped on the council’s app, and there will now be plenty of pavement space too.”
Residents can provide feedback on the highway changes direct to the county council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on availability the changes are expected to be introduced on June 22.
RBC advised shoppers to travel safely and plan their visit, maintain social distancing, follow signage and queuing guidelines, and wear face coverings on public transport.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/app to download the RBC app.