Temporary traffic changes in Hexham town centre
04 Aug 2020 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
Temporary traffic changes are being introduced around Hexham’s Market Place to help safeguard the public and support the recovery of the town centre after the easing of lockdown.
As the town centre becomes busier, further measures are being brought in to help safeguard the public and support the town’s economic recovery by making it easier and safer for people to follow social distancing guidance and reduce the risks of infection from Covid-19.
You can view the changes HERE
Prior to this, measures in place in the town centre amounted to social distancing signage and closure of various parking and loading bays at ‘pinch point’ areas.
Now a temporary one-way traffic system will be in place every day (except between 9am and 5pm on Saturday as during this period road closures will be in place to enable the temporary pedestrianisation of the area). Measures are being introduced on Saturday, August 8th, the day of the next Farmers Market.
The one-way system will run from the north end of Beaumont Street opposite the Abbey car park, with vehicles able to travel past the Abbey and down Market Street, with the one-way traffic restriction ending at the junction between Cowgarth and Market Street.
As part of the one-way system there’ll also be a temporary road closure midway down Hallstile Bank to prevent this from being a through route for vehicles. It will still be possible for vehicles travelling on the one-way system to turn into Market Place which will remain open to two-way traffic.
The second change is the temporary road closure and pedestrianisation of Market Place (except for access to off street premises) every Saturday from 9am to 5pm, from 8th August.
There will be no provision for through traffic and all vehicles will have to leave the area via Beaumont Street.
To create this pedestrian space there will be several temporary road closures. This will include a road closure at the north end of Beaumont Street opposite the Abbey car park. Several of the on-street parking bays opposite the Abbey car park entrance will also be taken out of use so there is sufficient space for vehicles to turn around and travel back up Beaumont Street.
The temporary road closure on Market Street will be at the junction with Cowgarth, so vehicles are able to turn around at this point.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Ensuring people’s safety will always be our top priority and by making these temporary changes we’ll be helping reduce the risk of virus transmission by creating more space for pedestrians to socially distance, making it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle in the town centre, and giving people the confidence to visit and support local businesses.
“We will keep these temporary measures under review and make refinements where necessary, but it will be necessary to maintain them for as long as it is considered appropriate to do so as part of the Council’s Covid-19 response.
“I would like to thank everyone in anticipation of their co-operation with the successful implementation of these new temporary arrangements.”
Cabinet Member and Hexham County Councillor Cath Homer added: “I’m pleased to see the town slowly getting busier as lockdown has eased, and we need to strike a balance between road safety and public health as more people start to visit Hexham.
“While these are temporary measures, I hope they will help with the economic recovery of the town centre while giving people more confidence and space when out and about.”
Cllr Trevor Cessford, ward member for the centre of Hexham, said: "We have been very busy over the last few weeks working on implementing the next stage following our initial safety measures for the centre of the town.
“We will be keeping a close eye on how they work in case we need to tweak them as time passes."
Mayor of Hexham Bob Hull commented: “These additional temporary measures are welcome as a means to help social distancing in the town as it grows busier. They will improve the safety of residents and visitors at dangerous pinch points.”