Published: 18:00, 24 March 2020
| Updated: 18:47, 24 March 2020
Maidstone was a ghost town today in the wake of Boris Johnson's announcement that he was shutting down the UK.
With almost all shops ordered to close, Maidstone High Street and the usually busy Earl Street was almost empty.
Only Week Street retained some shoppers - or maybe they were just people out for exercise.
There was little to attract people to Fremlin Walk where every shop was closed.
At the Mall Shopping Centre, Wilkinsons was still open - as was Greggs bakery but there were few customers.
People also seemed to have heeded the Prime Minister's requests for them not to travel. The platforms at Maidstone West Station were empty.
Today was a glorious sunny day that would usually have brought out scores of office workers to the riverside to eat their lunch - instead the benches were empty.
At Mote Park, Maidstone Council has locked the main car park to cut down on the numbers using the park.
The measure had its effect.
Although the park was still open for pedestrians and cyclists, there were not more than few score people there - mostly runners or dog-walkers.
The council has also closed the children's play areas.
Although the fence surrounding the younger children's play area is low and toddlers could easily be lifted over it, no-one was flouting the rules. Indeed there seemed to be no children at all in the park.
One strange thing - the car park to the Maidstone Leisure Centre remained open. The car park also gives easy access to Mote Park.
The car park is run by Civil Enforcement Limited, rather than by Maidstone council. Whether it was a deliberate policy to leave the car park open - or just because it has no gates to lock - visitors were still able to park there for up to three hours for free.
More by this authorAlan Smith