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Coronavirus Kent: Locks of Sandwich Cycles to close shop to 'stop spread of disease'

A long-standing cycle shop is changing the way it operates in order to discourage people cycling into Sandwich.

Locks of Sandwich Cycles, in King Street, will close its shop and workshop from today in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Locks of Sandwich Cycles is closing after today. Image: Google
Locks of Sandwich Cycles is closing after today. Image: Google

After this, people in need of equipment or maintenance for their bikes will be seen by appointment only.

The team have made the decision so that they are not "party to the spread on this dreadful virus".

The announcement on Facebook reads: "With regret, we are closing at 5.30pm on Thursday, April 9, for our own safety and our customers.

"Although we feel a commitment to help people who are still cycling, we feel we are encouraging cyclists into Sandwich town and don't want to be party to the spread on this dreadful virus.

"If you need parts or a bike I will be visiting the shop on my daily exercise ride.

"Best to contact us through social media, email or answer phone and I can arrange an appointment.

The team explained their reasons on Facebook
The team explained their reasons on Facebook

"Hope to be back and fully open when it is safe to do so.

"Thanks for all your support, Andy and team."

The shop, which has been open for 40 years and owned by Andy Croucher for 10 of those, sells ebikes, road bikes and offers cycle repair and maintenance.

Michelle Newing, who works at the shop, explained that the decision came after people were left queuing outside the store last weekend.

She said: "On Saturday we had so many people turn up we had people queuing in the street. This meant other people had to walk into the road.

"In our shop it is difficult to keep 2m apart and even though we were only letting one customer in at a time, we want to follow guidelines.

"But if someone needs us we will still be coming to the shop daily. They can contact us through Facebook."

Ms Newing said the new system could be in place for around three weeks, but this could change depending on central government advice.

As the moment people are only allowed out the house to travel to work, for essential shopping or appointments, and once daily exercise close to home.

But some people have been found ignoring these rules.

Kent Police has issued six fines to people breaking social distancing guidelines, and Folkestone council handed out more than 100 warning letters to people visiting the coast last weekend.

There was also disappointment after people were seen playing tennis in Ashford.

To get in contact with Locks of Sandwich, call 01304 617161 or search 'Locks of Sandwich Cycles' on Facebook.

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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