Roads closed and extra market day planned as shoppers set to return
- Credit: Archant
As Sudbury prepares to re-open its non-essential shops on Monday, temporary measures have been put in place in the town to aid social distancing.
Working closely with Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council, community leaders in Sudbury have announced road closures to make the return as safe as possible for businesses and customers alike.
Market Hill has been closed off to traffic and parking in the area has been suspended on market days only, making a pedestrianised zone for shoppers to walk freely whilst maintaining the two metre social distancing rules.
The council are also working closely with cafes and restaurants in the town centre to help create safe and secure outdoor eating and drinking areas on Market Hill and other spaces in town, as well as exploring the possibility of pop-up shops where independent high street companies can book and utilise free space on the hill to promote their businesses.
Widely praised by the community, the market has seen an extra day added to its trading to entice more consumers to return to the popular town and will now be operating three days a week Thursday, Friday and Saturday opening between 8am and 4.30pm.
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Further proposed measures which have yet to be approved include parking suspensions on North Street to widen pedestrian access, enabling socially distanced queues and creating more flexible outdoor space for businesses. Under this proposal disabled parking bays and goods vehicles loading bays will be retained.
Rachel Price, town centre manager, said: “We want to clarify that these measures are only in place on market days.
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“These measures are for the first time going to put pedestrians first. There is ample parking in Sudbury with an incredible provision of over 1,000 spaces available.
“We really want to make Sudbury not just ‘Covid-secure’ but we also want our customers to feel relaxed and safe.
“We’ve been thanked profusely by the community for keeping the market open during the lockdown.
“And the additional day means that the non-essential stalls who haven’t traded for three months get an opportunity to return and resume their livelihoods.”
Robin Bailey, chairman of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce said: “It is quite vital that we maintain the low Covid-19 rate that Sudbury has. As an immediate measure, I think it’s a good idea to close the roads and limit parking to be able to maintain social distancing. I think it’s fantastic news about the extra market day. I think it will help a lot of people who are still quite nervous about going to the shops and it will be great to see the independent and unique shops to Sudbury such as Winch & Blatch and Peddars, open up once again and start drawing the customers back and increase the footfall of the town.”