As most people will know the Government is allowing the opening of non-essential shops from Monday 15th June.
What many people will not know is that the Government has placed a duty on Milton Keynes Council to ensure that shops can open safely, ensuring social distancing. They also have a duty to aim to prevent a further outbreak. To that end MK Council will be introducing safety measures throughout Milton Keynes’ key shopping areas, including Newport Pagnell High Street.
To make the High Street safer for pedestrians, and allow social distancing, temporary measures will be put in place to restrict vehicle access to the High Street between Union Street and Ousebank from 9am to 5pm to allow residents to walk on the road safely to bypass queues on the narrow pavements waiting to access shops. This means parking bays will also be closed.
Buses will still be allowed access, and delivery vehicles between 7am and 9am and 7pm and 9pm. Additional parking bays for disabled badge holders will be in place at the edges of the restriction pedestrian zone.
Diversion routes will be as commonly used during events, ie Union Street and North Square towards Northampton and Ousebank/Riverside in the other direction – this will become one way.
HGVs shouldn’t be using the High Street as a through route anyway and should use the by-pass.
Signs will be erected to direct people and to remind residents about this importance of social distancing.
Due to the very short notice given to the Council by the Government some of the signage may to temporary while the proper signs are being made.
The Council also plans to help promote local businesses.
There will be Councillors and Council Officers in High Visibility Vests on site for the first few days to help people get used to the changes.