Temporary pedestrianisation in Fleet town centre supports public health
Fleet Road will be temporarily closed between Church Road and Victoria Road from Monday 24 August to ensure residents and visitors can continue to safely shop in the town centre. The part-pedestrianisation will mean more shoppers can maintain social distancing and support the economic recovery for the business community.
Hart District Council is working with Hampshire County Council, supported by Fleet Town Council and Fleet BID, on the scheme.Diversion routes will be clearly signposted and emergency access will be maintained.
The move will enable restaurants and cafes to use the pavement for additional seating and allow more room for shoppers to pass and queue as necessary to enter shops, subject to a tables and chairs licence. The measures follow Government guidance on public health during the pandemic and will be monitored closely to ensure they meet the community’s needs.
Councillor Graham Cockarill, Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “As cars return to the streets and business re-open, we need to make changes to keep everyone on our streets safe. This step will play an active role in rejuvenating Fleet town centre and helping local businesses get back on their feet.
“National guidelines will undoubtedly change, and we will keep the measures under review but we hope this temporary measure will give visitors more confidence that they can safely shop in Fleet.” Those with comments about how the scheme is working should email FleetRoad@Hart.gov.uk. All feedback will be reviewed, but individual responses will not be provided. Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “The idea behind these ‘pop up’ schemes is to support social distancing for those walking and cycling, supporting local businesses as we move into a stabilisation phase after lockdown by giving people the confidence to return to the high street. “The schemes are experimental, and, of necessity, they have had to be put in quickly; if they’re not effective for whatever reason, they will come out just as quickly and we will then concentrate on other measures that are proving to be more effective.” Bruce Bulgin, Chair of the Fleet Business Improvement District (BID), said: “We are strongly in agreement that public safety is the priority. Pedestrianisation has been a success in many other towns and we see the trial road closure as an opportunity to utilise the space to promote the town centre which could include a wide range of events and, ultimately, attractive landscaping.” More information about the Fleet Road closure can be found at www.hart.gov.uk/Covid-19-fleet-road. For more details about similar schemes across Hampshire visit: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/hantscovidtravel