Pedestrian one-way system for shoppers in Newmarket's High Street to help beat coronavirus
Newmarket High Street could have a follow-the-arrows system for shoppers similar to that being used in supermarkets.
West Suffolk Council is looking to introduce a one-way system in a bid to reduce pinch points and aid the ability to social distance to make the town centre safe for visitors and shop workers as restrictions around the coronavirus lockdown are gradually eased and more shops open from Monday.
The one-way pedestrian system will be introduced with pedestrians heading away from the clock tower using the Rutland Arms side of the street with those going in the opposite direction on the other side.
Changes are also being made to Wellington Street and Sun Lane where a line will be marked down the middle to enable one way walking with cyclists required to dismount.
There will be no access to The Guineas from Market Street, which will be exit only to the High Street.
Paul Brown, manager of Love Newmarket Business Improvement District, said: “These measures will ensure the safety of our members, their staff and customers while giving confidence to the local community that it is safe to return to our High Street. It is really important that everyone plays their part in the reopening and carefully follows the new proposals.”
New pedestrian arrangements introduced by the management of The Guineas shopping centre have already come in for criticism from shoppers.
Peter Burrows, of Newmarket, said: “The new arrangements are complex to say the least and in no way help the flow of pedestrians, which is presumably the object of the exercise.”
He said the closure of the doors leading in from the Guineas service area was forcing pedestrians to enter either from the market square or from the car park end.
“This affects many people with limited mobility and also minibuses with disabled passengers and taxis that drop off at the double doors,” he said.
“For example if you visit the Fish Shop or Specsavers you cannot then proceed to Poundland without going all the way around the complex,” said Mr Burrows. “While social distancing is now the now, congestion of pedestrians has not been a problem in The Guineas because the only available seating was removed some time ago.”