Welwyn resident grateful for High Street barriers which help elderly and vulnerable

Welwyn High Street

Welwyn High Street - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn resident has defended the barriers along the High Street, which have been put in place to encourage social distancing.

The barriers were first put in place in May, making Welwyn High Street a one way system.

Following its implementation, shop owners along the street have complained that the traffic management system has lead to a drop in passing trade.

A petition calling for their removal says that ‘we do not want to see closures resulting in empty shops and yet another dead High Street in this country’.

READ MORE: County Council addresses petition to return Welwyn High Street back to two-way trafficWelwyn resident Andrea acknowledges that the barriers encroach on the parking spaces on the high street but also appreciates how they help the elderly and vulnerable.

She said: “As a family we have been shielding since March as my youngest son has an extremely rare syndrome 4Q21.22 Microdeletion. He is the oldest known case in the world at 24-years-old and the only known case in the country and due to the conditions he has with this the virus puts him in the clinically extremely vulnerable group. And we have all had to shield as he is unable to look after himself.

“We have also been told to keep to a 2m rule even when shielding is hopefully paused on August 1, as the risk is extremely high to him no matter how low the infection rate is.”

Andrea has not been outside since March 16 and believes the barriers in place would give her the opportunity to go back outside.

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“As to how this impacts my view on the high street, is only that I know the paths are very narrow there and even before coronavirus and social distancing you couldn’t walk down the street without having to go in the road. And with people having to distance and queue and wait to get into shops restaurants/pubs etc this will limit the space more,” she added.

“I am also on crutches permanently and add this to taking a disabled adult to the shops its not an easy thing at the best of times. But without these measures in place I will not be able to use them as the distancing will be impossible and the subsequent risk too high for my son.

“I cannot say how long the measures should be in place for, ideally for as long as social distancing is required. We are not the only elderly/vulnerable people in the village that has been shielding and need to take these first steps.

“I look at it that if it makes someone feel safer it must be a good thing.”