One way system in place on Welwyn High Street to promote social distancing
- Credit: Colin Johnson
Welwyn High Street has temporarily been made one way and on street parking restrictions have been put in place to help maintain social distancing.
The changes from Hertfordshire County Council are to be in place for three weeks from Tuesday, they hope to encourage people to use high street shops in a safe way.
Councillor Phil Bibby, who is the cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “The safety and security of those who live and work in Hertfordshire is a top priority for us at Hertfordshire County Council. We are working closely with our public health partners to ensure we have the right measures in place to allow people to safely go about their business in town centres and enable them to socially distance as they do so.”
However some residents have complained about a lack of signage or awareness of the new rules in place.
Resident Russell Haggar said: “There’s no signage to warn drivers until they’re literally on top of it. The first indication that you can’t drive along the high street is 30 yards in advance, at the foot of a steep hill and at a point where pedestrians usually cross the road to get to the GP and the pharmacy. It is an accident waiting to happen.
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He added: “The one-way system itself is not being enforced, and there are loads of drivers ignoring it and simply driving through.
“There was no forewarning and no consultation. It’s a disaster.”
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A Hertfordshire County Council Spokesperson said: “We have been working with colleagues in public health to identify and promote measures that support the national drive on social distancing to save lives and enable our towns and their services to safely reopen, in advance of the lock down measures starting to be eased.
“Recognising that this was a national challenge, we have been working at pace to ensure that we were ahead of the game and could get the necessary traffic management supplies in time to enable appropriate measures to be rolled out. We wanted to get measures out quickly so people get used to them as traffic levels increase and people return to our high streets.
“Due to this proactive approach it has not always been possible to undertake our usual level of advance notification but we have issued press releases and put signs up on site advising people of these changes to support the public health drive.”