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Two thirds vote against controversial Hadleigh High Street barriers

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:00 05 August 2020

Duane Lay near the new barriers in Hadleigh Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Duane Lay near the new barriers in Hadleigh Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Two thirds of people in Hadleigh have criticised controversial barriers introduced in the town’s High Street in a pair of surveys.

Hadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

More than 1,000 people responded to the separate surveys on the new Covid-19 measures, which were introduced to the busy shopping street last week.

A one-way system was brought in along High Street, with cars only permitted to travel from the Angel Street roundabout and then southbound along to Benton Street.

Barriers have blocked off some parking spaces in a bid to help pedestrians follow social distancing, while a 20mph speed limit has also been introduced.

However, the changes have angered many in the community - with Jane Haylock, owner of Idler Bookshop in High Street describing the new barriers as “ugly”.

Hadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The first survey, revealed ahead of a Hadleigh Town Council meeting which debated the issue this week, saw neighbours respond through written forms, emails, phone calls and through canvassing.

It found 66% of the 156 respondents thought that the measures were “generally bad”.

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A further 23% thought it was “generally good”, with the rest not putting forward and opinion.

Bookshop owner Jane Haylock is one of the Hadleigh businesses who say the barriers are affecting trade  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDBookshop owner Jane Haylock is one of the Hadleigh businesses who say the barriers are affecting trade Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A separate survey carried out online found that 69% of 833 responses said that the scheme is not making the road a better place for pedestrians.

During Monday’s meeting, councillors noted people’s frustrations but stressed that the barriers will only be temporary - with a request to Suffolk Highways for the measures to be in place for six weeks.

Councillors also noted the concern on the economic impact of the barriers.

However, councillors believe all objections can be satisfied by making signage clearer and adding more crossing points alongside delivery and disabled parking bays.

Hadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHadleigh has new barriers down the high street to ensure social distancing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The controversial barriers were introduced at the start of last week to the anger of many in the community.

Ms Haylock said: “We were told it was going to happen, but not when.

“It’s difficult for pedestrians to cross and the orange barriers are ugly. It’s a complete mess. It looks like there are major road works on the road.”

Similar social distancing measured have been enforced across Suffolk, with Southwold also among the towns to implement one-way rules.


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