Preparations underway for Amble shops to reopen
With shops about to reopen, you might notice some temporary changes in the town centre in the coming days. Northumberland County Council (NCC) has been working with Amble Town Council and Amble Business Club to come up with measures which will hopefully make shopping during the pandemic easier for everyone.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, explained: “In Northumberland, the layout of shopping streets, particularly in some of the older towns, does not make social distancing easy, with narrow pavements and limited queueing space.
“But if the retail market is to recover people must feel confident that they can visit town centres safely, which will require some simple temporary adjustments to the way that town centres operate.
“We’re doing our best to ensure we’re supporting all our high-street businesses while at the same time keeping residents safe – which is our absolute priority.”
The areas affected in Amble will include High Street, Queen Street, Leazes Street and the Harbour Village.
Stickers reminding people of social distancing rules will be placed on pavements, street furniture, bus stops and pinch points. Parking will be suspended in three bays outside Tescos. There will also be a temporary one way system for pedestrians on Queen Street.
Social distancing may also require that some street signage and pavement displays could be moved.
If necessary, a review into general signage may be undertaken to encourage drivers to use Church Street rather than Queen Street. Some additional parking suspension may also be considered for when cafés and bars reopen.
NCC is also looking at providing ‘Community Ambassadors’ for the first few days of reopening to provide a visible presence on the high streets, offering friendly support and guidance to shoppers and traders.
And in related news, NCC has told the Ambler that there are no plans to halt the traffic warden visits to the town. A spokesperson told us: “As the restrictions are eased we will be undertaking more enforcement activity to ensure road safety and that disabled bays, loading bays, school keep clears etc are not obstructed. We would therefore urge residents and businesses to park responsibly and in compliance with the restrictions at all times.”
The spokesperson added: “If people are parked on a yellow line whilst loading, this has to be a ‘continuous’ loading activity, otherwise it will be deemed as a contravention.”