Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire road closures as shops prepare to reopen

Kenilworth
Image caption Some people in Kenilworth are concerned plans for pedestrians may cause knock-on traffic problems

Temporary road closures are to be brought in across all towns in Warwickshire to enable social distancing when shops reopen.

The measures could also include one-way systems and the suspension of some parking, the county council says.

Some residents in Kenilworth say the plan is too rushed and want further consultation.

Kenilworth Town Council said it had concerns about alternative roads being used to facilitate the scheme.

Members said they "remained generally supportive" of pedestrianisation for Warwick Road's commercial strip, but had informed the county council about their worries over traffic on suggested new routes.

Resident Chris Lord said he was not against plans that allowed people to observe social distancing, but he wanted the county council to engage more with the public.

"By moving the traffic from here to the other side of Kenilworth," he said, "they're putting these routes past a nursery, a doctor's surgery, several old people's homes and various other businesses."

Those routes "aren't set up to take this," he added.

Image caption Warwickshire County Council says the measures are about giving more space for people to socially distance

Mr Lord is also concerned other roads around Kenilworth will get busier as a knock-on effect.

"These are heavy residential areas and they will see more traffic through there because people will be using these routes as rat-runs."

All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, the government announced last month.

Warwickshire County Council has said giving more space to pedestrians will mean businesses can operate safely as the public returns to towns, knowing areas can be reached on foot or by bicycle.

Councillor Tony Jackson, mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon and member of Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, said "compromises will have been made but the immediate priority must be [getting] something that is workable in place as soon as possible".

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