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Safe social distancing measures in Great Yarmouth’s shopping and tourism hotspots

Hold yew hard - please stay 2 metres apartTemporary measures helping pedestrians to maintain safe social distancing are being introduced in Great Yarmouth town centre, Gorleston High Street and the borough’s busiest tourism hotspots.

To prepare for the reopening of non-essential retailers from 15 June, the Government is asking councils to make changes to highways and public realm to assist with the safe reopening of high streets, seafronts and other public spaces. This work has been designed and commissioned by district councils and delivered on their behalf by Norfolk County Council’s highways team.

Over the next fortnight, messages temporarily stencil-sprayed onto pavements and signage will ask pedestrians to stay on the left side of some footpaths and to seek to stay two metres apart from anyone they do not live with.

Streets with this one-way “stay left” system will include Regent Street, Regent Road and King Street through to St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth seafront, Gorleston High Street and seafront, and Hemsby’s Beach Road. No business A-boards will be allowed on the highway.

At Gorleston’s Lower Promenade, parking will be temporarily suspended on the west side of the car park to help traders to manage socially-distancing queuing during peak season. Due to its narrow pavements, parking in Gorleston High Street will also be suspended along the two narrowest stretches to increase space for pedestrians.

At pinch point areas, such as the bus station/Regent Road/Temple Road interchange, a barrier system will be in place to try to keep pedestrians moving in the same direction. Barriers in the Market Place will designate a thoroughfare for pedestrians, with the businesses on either side being responsible for managing socially-distanced queuing outside their premises.

On the six-day market, the council has already put markers on the floor and signage up to encourage social distancing, together with the provision of hand sanitiser for customers at entrances. The layout of the two-day market is being altered slightly to widen the walkways between stalls, with a one-way system in place.

Great Yarmouth’s narrow rows will be one way only, starting in the Market Place at Market Row, with rows going east to west alternately from that row. King Street’s rows will then commence west to east from the most accessible row from the car park.

Recognising that people might need longer in town than normal due to queuing, people will be able to park for two hours for the price of one hour in the King Street, Market Place and Brewery Plain car parks, as well as Gorleston High Street car park, for a period of three months from June 15.

Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: “These temporary measures to aid social distancing are critical to public safety and our borough’s economic recovery, as we look ahead to the reopening of non-essential retail from June 15 and more of our tourism businesses later this summer.

“People are already used to staying left while driving and while taking the stairs and escalators, so we’re hoping most pedestrians will embrace these temporary changes, act sensibly and choose to stay left, stay two metres apart and queue responsibly for the safety of themselves and others.

“Together, we can stay safe, help to save the lives of residents, visitors and traders, and help businesses to reopen and trade safely as we move through this phased recovery. Over the weeks and months, we will monitor how people interact with the new system and make any necessary alterations. At this stage, no roads are being closed or pedestrianised.”