A Safer Town Centre as Businesses Re-open
Published: 29 June 2020
Helston Town Council are working with Cornwall Council and community partners to ensure public safety in Helston, to comply with the social distancing rules as businesses re-open. We want everyone to be confident that Helston Town centre is a safe place and that businesses can recover quickly.
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*PRESS RELEASE* ~ 29th June 2020
After a meeting held on Friday between a number of town councillors and representatives of Meneage Street businesses, Helston Town Council held an informal meeting on Saturday evening to discuss the options available to ensure public safety and the post Covid-19 reopening of business in Meneage Street. There was much discussion of the options available to the council. Their priority is the safety of the public, which at this time requires a social distancing of at least 2 metres. In parts of Meneage Street it is not possible to maintain this distance with the pavements at some points being considerably narrower. This requires people to walk into the road. Given that traffic can and does move at up to 30 mph this is not a safe practice. There is also considerable difficulty for those who are disabled and use buggies or other walking aids.
What does this mean?
• The road closure will remain in place from 1000 to 1600 Monday to Saturday inclusive.
• There will be access for the disabled, blue badge holders, to Meneage Street. Enabling them to park in the street.
• There will be access for delivery drivers to Meneage Street.
• There will be access for those residents who were issued with passes for last week.
Helston Town Council will continue to pay for the first hour for motorists who park in Trengrouse Way or Tyacke Road Cornwall Council car parks. The 60p charge can be reclaimed at The Guildhall or from certain businesses that will subsequently claim from the council.
There have been concerns raised that the road closure notice could be in place for 18 months. This is not the intention of Helston Town Council, but is in accordance with the legislation that the notice was issued under.
This was far from an easy decision for the Town Councillors, but the majority decision was that the only viable option, to ensure the safety of the public on Meneage Street with regards to social distancing, was for the road closure to continue at this time. In addition, with the pubs, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers opening from the 4th July 2020, along with tourists being allowed to visit, we anticipate a significant increase in footfall making social distancing all but impossible unless the road is closed.
We fully appreciate that some businesses are strongly against this decision, however, we have to act in the best interests of everyone including all businesses, residents and visiting tourists. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to have chairs outside on the road, whilst respecting social distancing, ensuring that these businesses can be more commercially viable in these difficult times.
There has been a lot of abuse directed towards the stewards of the road closure. The stewards are volunteers, and do not deserve this abuse. It must stop. We must all work together, in a respectful manner, and not resort to ugliness including on social media. We all want the best for Helston. We all want everyone to be safe in our town, and we all want businesses to survive in these unprecedented times. It is, and will continue, to be difficult. We will continue to monitor the situation. Please, we must work together, constructively.