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Welcome back to Rugby town centre

June 14, 2020 3:24 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Rugby sign (lighter)Rugby town centre reopens for non-essential shopping on Monday 15 June, and Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council have been working to make sure that it is a safe and pleasant environment for shoppers.

While the Friday and Saturday market is already back up and running, other non-essential shops reopen next week provided that they can do so safely. Our priority is to create a safe shopping environment and support our town centres businesses so the Borough Council is implementing a number of measures designed to help maintain social distancing.

Residents can expect to see pavement markers to indicate how far to keep apart, one-way pedestrian flow in restricted spaces such as stairwells, and restrictions on the use of public benches. Touch points such as bin handles and parking machines are being sanitised frequently through the day and North Street toilets are also being cleaned more frequently. All car parks and public toilets remain open. Rugby Borough Council's Community Wardens and Rugby First's Bid Rangers will be on hand to monitor pinch points and provide help and support to businesses and shoppers where needed.

To assist residents and businesses with social distancing Warwickshire County Council will be introducing key changes to the road network around the town centre to allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The changes include a temporary one-way system around North Street, Church Street, Clifton Road and Hillmorton Road and restrictions on on-street parking. The town centre taxi rank will be relocated from the westbound side of the road to the eastbound side.

Rugby Borough Council will provide additional disabled parking bays at North Street car park to compensate for the reduction of on-street spaces.

Not all non-essential shops are reopening immediately, but may be providing additional services either online or via telephone. Some shops are offering appointment systems for a one-to-one approach or takeaway/delivery services and may need to be contacted in advance.

Cllr Seb Lowe, Leader of Rugby Borough Council and leader of the Conservative Group joined Cllr Maggie O'Rourke, leader of the Labour group and Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, to welcome shoppers back. The group leaders said: "We are pleased to be able to reopen the town centre and have worked hard at implementing measures to support businesses and keep our residents safe.

"The council will continue to work with partners to monitor our open spaces and ensure that we can support the town centre by making sure that it is a safe and welcoming place to be. We need to "act and adapt" to make sure that these changes work well."

The group leaders also warned residents may experience delays due to the highway changes being made by Warwickshire County Council, saying: "The new one way system being introduced by the county council will affect nearly every journey that passes close to the town centre. Residents might experience delays and should consider their route.

"We would encourage all residents to consider walking or cycling into town if they can. Every bike rack in the town is mapped on the council's App, and there will now be plenty of pavement space too."

Residents can provide feedback on the highway changes direct to the county council by emailing trafficandsafety@warwickshire.gov.uk. Depending on availability the changes are expected to be introduced on 22 June.

Tips for returning to the Rugby town:

Travel safely and plan your visit

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus. Please maintain and follow social distancing guidance, particularly at bus stops, car parks and taxi ranks. If at all possible, plan your visit in advance and allow extra time for potential queuing. You must wear a face covering on public transport.

There will be changes to the road network. This allows for greater social distancing and safety. Please be prepared to follow signs and use a different car park to normal. If the changes mean you cannot get to where you need to go, give feedback to Warwickshire County Council. Their highways team have committed to monitor the changes and alter them if needed.

Consider walking or cycling into the town centre. You can find a handy cycle rack or the nearest public toilet using the Rugby App. Download it for free at www.rugby.gov.uk/app.

Follow the signage and queuing guidelines

When walking, use your judgement if you need to take a narrow route and always assess whether you can do so safely.

The town centres will have signage to indicate pedestrian movement and queuing systems. Please take notice and follow these measures. Individual businesses will be responsible for managing their own spaces and shops may have different rules because of their own particular space requirements.

Keep your hands and face as clean as possible and wear a face covering

Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands often using soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. Where available, use sanitiser outside your home, especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces. Avoid touching your face. Contactless payment will be the preferred payment for most retailers.

We are increasing cleaning regimes throughout our car parks and public toilets.

Support local businesses

This pandemic has presented a challenge to each and every business in the town centre. The reopening process will be a learning curve. Help our businesses, if you feel they could improve their offering to make your experience more enjoyable, please do let them know. Consider supporting local eateries - many are running takeaway services that would love your support. We ask for your understanding and support during these challenging times for our town centres and business community.

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

• stay at home as much as possible;
• work from home if you can;
• limit contact with other people;
• keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible);
• wash your hands regularly.

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.