Duke Street businesses asked to help plan social in area

Duke Street businesses asked to help plan social in area
26 June 2020

Darlington Borough Council is reaching out to businesses in Duke Street ahead of plans to introduce social distancing in the area.

The council has social distancing measures in other areas of the town centre, and is now looking at proposals for Duke Street. The approach will be phased to cater for the anticipated increase in pedestrians as business and education re-opens.

A letter from Councillor Andy Keir, Cabinet member for Local Services, has gone out to business owners in the area, explaining the measures the council is proposing to meet current Government guidance.

It is planned to start introducing measures from Saturday 4 July, and the council is advising business owners before that time to understand how they will operate their business under COVID conditions.

Based on current Government guidance, the council is proposing to introduce changes on a phased basis.

Planned changes include:

  • A temporary one-way system and 20mph speed limit in Duke Street
  • Temporarily widening footways on the even-numbered side of the street to create space for social distancing, with pedestrian levels expected to increase significantly over the coming weeks and months

To enable measures to be put in place, it is planned to introduce a temporary one-way system in Duke Street, with traffic travelling from Stanhope Road roundabout towards the town centre only.

It is intended to keep parking bays on the odd-numbered side of the road, although some may need to be re-designated for loading only to assist businesses.

Council-run car parks will continue to be free and additional disabled parking bays could be introduced on Winston Street.

Councillor Keir said: “We want to understand what measures businesses are putting in place – in particular, the proposals to manage queues outside, so we can consider any amendments to our proposals”.

“These are challenging times for all businesses and we recognise that these measures are not what anyone would want, but we must prioritise public health.

“We are committed to working with businesses and listening to their feedback. We will keep these necessary measures under review as Government advice changes, and make changes where it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

Businesses are asked to email their comments – with DUKE STREET REPLY in the subject line – to [email protected] by Tuesday (30 June) at the latest.