Changes to Covid-safety traffic measures in Warwick town centre - The Leamington Observer

Changes to Covid-safety traffic measures in Warwick town centre

Leamington Editorial 29th Jul, 2020   0

CHANGES are taking place to Covid-safety traffic measures in Warwick town centre.

Following feedback from businesses and residents, various adaptations have been made by Warwickshire County Council as part of the on-going review of the measures.

* Swan Street – has been reopened to traffic. The daytime closure of Swan Street was introduced as part of a package of measures designed to create space for social distancing and to give people confidence they could safely visit the town centre following the re-opening of non-essential retail in mid-June and the anticipated reopening of the hospitality sector.

*High Street/Jury Street/The Butts – The one-way measures, cycle lane on Banbury Road/Castle Hill and the measures on Castle Lane are also being removed as traffic volumes increase in the town. It is anticipated these changes will be made before the end of the week, with Thursday evening a target.

The cycle lane on Banbury Road/Castle Hill and the one-way restriction on High Street/Jury Street were introduced to support active travel by providing part of a key missing cycle link into the town. This was in line with government guidance which continues to advise people to walk or cycle wherever possible and to avoid using public transport. These measures were also designed to provide an environment which was less dominated by traffic in which it would be easier for people to observe social distancing. The one-way restriction on The Butts ​and a reversal of the one-way flow on Castle Lane were introduced to support the overall traffic flow around the town.

* One-way restrictions – With traffic beginning to return to near normal levels and delays being experienced on journeys into and across the town centre from the south of Warwick, the decision has been made to remove the one-way restrictions from Warwick.

* Market Place – The weekend closure of Market Place for the Saturday market will be retained.

County transport spokesman Coun Jeff Clarke said: “We have always said that we would ‘Act and Adapt’ these measures in response to feedback, government guidance and local needs. It has been a fast-changing situation in which we have been working at incredible pace to safeguard public health and support economic recovery.

“We have been listening to residents, businesses and partners and monitoring the situation carefully and feel that Swan Street should now be reopened to traffic and the one-way restrictions we introduced as part of our initial response to the public health crisis should now be removed.

“We will continue to monitor the situation carefully in Warwick and, if necessary, will take additional steps to safeguard public health which remains of paramount importance.”

* Last week the county council confirmed funding to progress the Warwick Town Centre Improvement Scheme which incorporates changes to traffic flows, including a one-way system which is broadly similar to the restrictions introduced as part of the temporary reallocation measures.

A fundamental difference between the two schemes is the longer term proposal retains two in-bound traffic lanes on Banbury Road and Castle Hill which will provide greater capacity and enable traffic to flow more freely than the temporary scheme which was designed for lower traffic volumes and has seen this section of road reduced to a single lane. ​

The proposed scheme will also make changes at key gateways to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists as well as easing traffic flows. ​

Further discussion with businesses and residents public will be carried out on the planned scheme over the coming months.

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