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Road closure and ‘Keep Left’ signs coming in as Ipswich eases lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:02 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 June 2020

Keep Left signs will be introduced on pedestrian areas like Tavern Street. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Keep Left signs will be introduced on pedestrian areas like Tavern Street. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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“Keep left signs” on streets for pedestrians and the closure to traffic of one of the busiest roads in Ipswich are two of the changes being introduced to make shoppers feel safer when some non-essential stores reopen from June 15.

Ipswich town centre during lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIpswich town centre during lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Plans to open up the town include a keep left pedestrian scheme, extensive banner messaging, including floor stickers and lamppost banners and posters for shop windows. Upper Brook Street will be closed to all traffic during the day.

The Ipswich Vision Partnership represents business and local authorities. It is working with employers to encourage those who have returned after lockdown to stagger staff arrival and departure times and lunch hours in a bid to enhance social distancing at traditionally busy times.

Vision Chair Terry Hunt said: “We know that by working in the spirit of partnership, together we can ensure that visitors to Ipswich will be able to return to the town centre in a safe and orderly manner, protecting themselves and others around them. From next Monday, signage and further information will be displayed in the town centre ready for June 15.”

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said: “We continue to follow Government guidance on the reopening of the town centre and have worked with our partners to ensure visitors can come into Ipswich with confidence.

Primark, which has branches in Ipswich and Colchester, has revealed it will reopen its stores Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPrimark, which has branches in Ipswich and Colchester, has revealed it will reopen its stores Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The safety of shoppers and employees will always come first – this has been our priority ever since the lockdown began in March – and we continue to stress the importance of social distancing.”

We are holding an Open House Forum online on Thursday to debate the future of our town centres.

To take part visit here.

Shoppers will find changes when Ipswich town centre stores reopen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNShoppers will find changes when Ipswich town centre stores reopen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Terry Baxter, Chair of Ipswich Central added: “We know that the people of Ipswich are keen to get back to their town centre and our businesses are impatient to welcome them back. However this will only work if we all play our part. Together we can stay left, keep our physical distance and keep safe.”

Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for Ipswich, said: “We are pleased to have played our part in a strong partnership approach which will ensure Ipswich can reopen as planned.”

Guidance leaflets are being made available advising of the plans to be put in place. This is seen as an important guide for those keen to return to their town centre.

What is changing?

Road markings: Roads in the heart of Ipswich like Tavern Street, Westgate Street, the Butter Market, the top of Princes Street, and Lloyds Avenue will be have “Keep Left” signs to ensure pedestrians can maintain a two-metre gap for social distancing.

Upper Brook Street: The street will be closed to traffic from 10.30am to 4.30pm every day with Keep Left signs for pedestrians. The road has extensive bus traffic and pavements that will not allow for easy social distancing if pedestrian numbers increase post-lockdown.

Most buses will be re-routed to Bond Street and disabled parking spaces will be relocated to the top of Lower Brook Street. Taxis will continue to be able to use their pick-up points on Tacket Street and Dog’s Head Street.

Improving links to the town centre: Further work is being undertaken by the Ipswich Vision partners to look at additional transport improvements to help people use their cars, bikes or to come by foot into the town. The group is also looking at other options to coincide with the expected continued relaxation of lockdown at the start of July.


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