Popular Cornish holiday towns to ban cars this summer to help social distancing

TOURIST hotspots across Cornwall will ban cars and close roads this summer to allow visitors to social distance. Will this be needed in Devon?

Kara Godfrey www.thesun.co.uk 

St Ives, along with areas in Falmouth and Truro, are just some of the locations introducing new measures ahead of the holiday season.

Falmouth has already closed a number of streets in the busy town centre for a set number of hours since June 15, along with Truro, following the announcement that non-essential shops could open.

Truro Mayor Bert Biscoe said he hoped that it would allow locals to return as well as “encourage others to come,” according to the Telegraph.

Closing the roads will allow visitors more room to visit the region, with many of the small towns having narrow pathways and thin streets which often become overcrowded during peak holiday seasons.

St Ives looks to be the next tourist town to follow in their footsteps, after new plans introduced by the town council to stop road traffic between 11am and 4pm from today.

The road closures will be marshalled, while permits will be issued for certain cases and emergency services can continue to drive through. Deliveries will have to operate at the beginning or end of the day.

St Ives Town Council and the St Ives Business Improvement District (BID) Helen Tripconey told local media that the measures were “temporary” until things returned to normal.

Ron Johns, who owns a bookshop in St Ives, said he had “no idea” it it would work but was needed as the “streets are very narrow in Cornwall”.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced that Britain’s 2m social distancing rule would be reduced to 1m+ in places where 2m was not possible.

Locals fear that without the new measures, a situation similar to Bournemouth beach could happen.

Last week, tens of thousands of Brits descended to Bournemouth as temperatures soured, with little social distancing and tons of litter left behind.

Roads were blocked and emergency services were unable to get through to the beach after a major alert was declared.

Visit Cornwall’s Malcom Bell said they were “fully in support of traffic restrictions” across the region, adding: “It provides a step change in the space available for local and visitors to access and enjoy our wonderful towns.”

Other areas in the UK such as Norfolk, Oxford, Cambridge and Whitby are also looking at closing a number of roads in the busy towns and cities as well.

Mr Bell previously said that Cornwall would allow tourists to social distance due to the large number of beaches compared to the rest of the country.

He said, according to Cornwall Live: “We are in a fortunate position due to our location, with the number of beaches we’ve got and with the right information we should avoid the Brighton, Southend and Bournemouth problem, which is sheer volume and lack of beaches.”

A holiday to Cornwall is likely to be very different compared to previous years, he added.

He told Sun Online Travel: “The bulk of popular attractions will be doing timed ticketing and all restaurants will be doing reservations.

“We need to also avoid people turning up and queuing at places, so for takeaway food like fish and chips, people will need to order their food online and then wait to be told when to collect it.”