In July/ August Herefordshire Council introduced measures to restrict parking and widen pavements as part of the national guidance given by central government in response to COVID. The BID feel the response was too heavy handed and disproportionate to the issue. Businesses complained and as their representative, the BID asked the Council to urgently review plans. The main areas affected were Broad Street, King Street, Bridge Street and the Old Bridge.
What is wrong with the measures?
- They are anti-business - keeping valuable customers away because they cannot park as they usually do (many will have specific reasons why they need to park so close)
- Looks terrible - cones everywhere and not maintained
- Lacks clarity in triggers/ how is it responsive or proportionate - how monitored? What is the basis for review?
Support Us - Support Business
If things do not change promptly businesses will go to the wall.
We want our visitors to be safe but equally, we need a proportionate sensible fact-based response that is understood and measurable. Footfall is down and so we need a tailored approach - not a 'one size fits all'.
Update - August 27th 2020
The Council has widely listened and adapted measures. There are more bays available now although the bridge remains closed.
We feel the planted tubs do not look good but it is better than the traffic cones they replaced.
Whilst we agree that safety is paramount, the government advice was guidance not rule. Towns and cities are expected to adapt according to the needs in their area. Without clear methods of measurement it makes it hard to understand the rationale.
We think Councils up and down the country have encountered the same kind of issues as Hereford and that the Government will increasingly be pressured to refine the guidance once traffic increases on the roads.