Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working with Festival Place, The Malls and Basingstoke Together Business Improvement District to implement measures for the safe reopening of the town centre next week.
On 25 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for non-essential retailers to reopen stores from Monday 15 June and as part of this, the council has been awarded £150,000 to introduce measures to keep shoppers safe.
Following the announcement, the council has been working with its partners in the town centre and other shopping areas across the borough to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for shoppers and businesses will be supported to understand the measures they need to take before they can reopen.
Shoppers will be encouraged to support local businesses while ensuring the safety of other visitors, business owners and their staff.
A number of measures will be put in place including walking on the left hand side of walkways in the town centre area, an increased cleaning schedule of public areas and extensive signage reminding shoppers what they need to do. The council is also working with partners to provide hand sanitising stations at the Top of the Town and in council-owned car parks.
Shoppers using council-owned car parks in the town centre are being urged to make card payments using the free RingGo app which is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.
There are a number of other ways to get to the town centre, including walking, cycling and public transport, with bus passengers encouraged to follow the social distancing measures in place at Basingstoke bus station and on the buses. Plans to provide additional temporary cycle storage in the town centre are also under way.
More information on the measures Stagecoach has put in place on buses operating in the borough can be found at www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/covid-19-travelling-safely#
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Borough Development and Improvement Cllr Rebecca Bean said: “We know this has been a difficult time for the local economy and the reopening of the town centre is a big milestone as part of the government’s easing of lockdown measures. We have been working extremely hard with our partners in the town centre to make the necessary changes and support businesses to help them understand the changes they need to make before they reopen.
“Although we would encourage residents and visitors to support local businesses who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, we would urge everyone to do this safely by following the social distancing measures that will be in place, minimising the amount of people from your household visiting the town centre and avoiding the busiest times of the day. We know this will be a big change from what people are used to but it is important to follow the measures that will be in place to ensure you, your families and other shoppers are safe.”