Following continued local engagement Warwickshire County Council will remove the temporary roadspace reallocation measures within Rugby Town Centre. Traffic management will be withdrawn and street furniture reinstalled, from Sunday.
These works will be managed in such a way as to avoid any road closures.
This decision has been taken as it became increasingly clear that a consensus could not be reached with local businesses, partners and stakeholders.
The scheme had been put into place so as to follow [then] Government guidance around the reopening of retail on 15 June, and in anticipation of further reopening of the hospitality sector on July 4th. It was designed to create additional space required for social distancing and to give people visiting the town centre confidence that they could move about safely. It created additional space for queuing and for bars and restaurants to be able to seat customers outside.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “It is disappointing that we have not come to a consensus on what was needed in Rugby. We were firmly of the belief that, while the scheme’s primary intention was to safeguard the public and enable safe social distancing, businesses would also benefit from having more space on the roads. This would allow their customers to circulate safely around the town, queue where necessary and to be able to accommodate more customers when bars, cafés and restaurants are able to reopen after 4th July, with the increase in footfall that that will bring.
“We always said that we had to act quickly, in line with the Government’s expectation, and get something ready which could then be adapted. As with other schemes around the county, we have listened to partners, the business community and other stakeholders with the view that schemes could be adapted depending on what issues were identified.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree a compromise in Rugby. We were not willing to continue with the scheme without their full backing or that of the Borough Council.”
Information about further roadspace reallocation schemes in Warwickshire can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covid19roadlayouts.