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Sheerness, Sittingbourne and Faversham town centres to be pedestrianised to make shopping safer after lockdown

Vehicles are to be banned from Sheerness, Sittingbourne and Faversham town centres to make them safer for shoppers.

Cllr Monique Bonney, cabinet member for economy and property at Swale council, said: "With more shops now reopening and other businesses potentially reopening from July 4, we need to make sure people can stay safe visiting our high streets.

Sheerness High Street closed to traffic
Sheerness High Street closed to traffic

“We know this may mean shops having to make changes to deliveries and their commercial waste collections so we want to let them know as soon as possible about the changes.

“These measures are necessary to make sure our towns reopen safely and will help give people confidence to come back and access local shops and services.”

Letters to shopkeepers were being delivered by hand today.

Cllr Bonney added: "We’ve already done a lot of work to provide signage and advice for businesses to help them reopen safely but we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure people can shop safely.

“We’ve been working with Faversham and Sheerness town councils to plan these temporary closures which will give pedestrians more room to safely move around and give more space for any queues outside busy shops."

Cllr Monique Bonney. Picture: Swale council
Cllr Monique Bonney. Picture: Swale council

The move was immediately welcomed by Phil Crowder, chairman of the Sheerness Town Team.

He said: "This is a good move. We need more space to self-isolate while queueing outside shops without having to step into the road and risk being hit by a car, bus or lorry.

"I hope it can be seen as an experiment to keep the High Street pedestrianised permanently. I know some traders rely on passing trade but in general it will make the town a nicer place to visit and encourage shoppers to stay in the town longer."

He added: "The council could also look at keeping free parking. Drivers can stay for up to 20 minutes in the High Street at the moment. It would be good if this could be transferred to the car parks."

Sheerness High Street, Broadway and part of Hope Street will be closed to traffic from Thursday, June 25 between 10am to 4pm. The restrictions will operate from Mondays to Saturdays until further notice.

The council said buses would continue to operate, and pick up and drop off on Millennium Way and Trinity Road to serve the High Street.

Phil Crowder, chairman of the Sheerness Town Team
Phil Crowder, chairman of the Sheerness Town Team

In addition to the existing restrictions, Sittingbourne High Street will be closed from Station Street to Central Avenue between 10am and 4pm on Mondays to Thursdays from Thursday, June 25.

In Faversham, in addition to the existing restrictions, from Monday, June 22 the following roads will be closed to all through traffic between 10am and 4pm Mondays to Thursdays: Court Street from Market Place to Crescent Road; Market Place; Middle Row and West Street from Market Place to 121 and 122 West Street.

Sheerness High Street with no traffic
Sheerness High Street with no traffic
Sheerness High Street with no traffic
Sheerness High Street with no traffic

For more details visit www.swale.gov.uk/back-to-business.

Read more: News from the Isle of Sheppey here

Read more: Sittingbourne news here

Read more: Faversham news here


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