To maintain social distancing in Sidmouth town centre, painted social distancing markers, a one-way pavement system and the possible closure of narrow streets is to be introduced.
With the breakdown in obeying social distancing rules, thanks to Dominic Cummings’ and Boris Johnson’s casual attitude, this is sensible. Owl is hearing that the elderly inhabitants of East Devon’s seaside towns in the past few days have felt frightened to go out during the day.
The new safeguards to help contain the spread of coronavirus could also include creating temporary paths to increase space.
High Street, Fore Street, and up to The Esplanade, New Street, Church Street and the Three- Cornered Plot are expected to be included in the one-way system.
It will see pedestrians travel in a loop to avoid passing each other.
Markings painted onto pavements using stencils will accurately show a two-metre distance, while others will urge pedestrians to ‘keep your distance’ and remind the public of the one-way system.
It is expected the one-way route will start at the top of the High Street, take in Fore Street, up to The Esplanade.
Paint used for the pavement stencils showing the one-way system and correct social distance spacing will be non-permanent and fade over time.
Pedestrians would be encouraged to keep to the one-way track and to cross the road onto the pavement opposite to make any return journey.
Other protection measures already in place include an extra path cut into grass at Long Park to allow for social distancing.
Councillor Stuart Hughes and small team of Devon County Council Highways and Sidmouth Town Council maintenance workers could begin the stencil painting as early as Wednesday next week.
The plan is for the town to be ready for when businesses are allowed to reopen.
Cllr Hughes told East Devon News: “If you are going down the town, you come up the other way straight back up to the top of town.
“If you go into Tesco, you have got a one-way system.
“If you miss something in one of the aisles, you have to go around the shop again. It’s not going to be a as bad as that because it doesn’t stop you crossing the road. You can do that. You go down one way and come back up the other side.
“If it works elsewhere, why can’t it work in Sidmouth? You always get some people that won’t take any notice. If the majority of people stick by it, it’s going to make Sidmouth a safer place to visit.
“It’s worked in other places in Europe. I see no reason why it can’t work here in Sidmouth to enhance the shopping experience and make it safe for the population, the residents of Sidmouth and visitors.”