Work is underway at Adur & Worthing Councils to prepare town centres for the re-opening of shops and for the return of open air markets.
Plans are being prepared to introduce social distancing measures in Worthing, Shoreham, Lancing and Southwick so that returning shoppers can feel safe and comfortable when all retail can open from June 15th.
Some road closures, one-way walking routes and widening of pavements in town centres are being considered so that the government’s two-metre social distancing rules can still be followed. Some on-street parking bays may be removed to help this.
A government grant of £56,000 to Adur and £98,000 to Worthing under the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help pay for implementation of the measures.
The Councils will be working with businesses and organisations such as West Sussex County Council, Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative and the independent traders to develop the plans which are expected to be finalised next week.
In the meantime, discussions are underway with organisers and traders about the timing of the opening of open-air markets with the farmers’ market at Shoreham on June 13 likely to be the first up and running.
Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, ‘Staff are working hard to prepare plans to bring the town centre back to life. We need measures that help under pressure retailers with their reopenings but also make visitors feel safe and comfortable and help them keep to distancing guidelines. I’m sure we can achieve both.’
His counterpart at Adur District Council, Cllr Brian Boggis, said, ‘Of course we want to see life returning to our centres but we know we have to do this in a measured way. By creating clear new navigation routes and signage we are sure we will be able to reassure shoppers and help retailers as they emerge from lockdown.’