Barriers removed in Richmond Market Place following concern from traders

Richmond market place. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Barriers installed in Richmond town centre to aid social distancing have been removed.

Local councillors, business leaders and council officials came together to discuss the issue yesterday following concerns that the measures were not needed and would deter shoppers.

Richmondshire District Council has now said it had reviewed shopper numbers over the last week and decided it was safe to lose some of the market place barriers.

Some barriers will remain in place including those in front of the Green Howards Museum.

Officials say the situation will be kept under weekly review until the further relaxation of social distancing measures on July 4.

The authority has issued a reminder to people coming to the town to urge them to comply with social distancing restrictions and to shopkeepers to ensure they manage queues inside and outside their stores safely.

“We want to keep the people of Richmond safe,” said corporate director, Callum McKeon.

“Businesses must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of our residents, visitors and their own staff.  That becomes even more important next month when social distancing measures are being relaxed further to allow the opening of more businesses – even more people will be in the town centre.

“It is up to everyone to behave responsibly and wear face masks where necessary.”

Several town centre traders had questioned the need for the number of barriers.

Roger Nutting, owner of Out of the Box! in King Street, said the barriers made the town look like a “major roadworks project” was ongoing on the cobbles.

He added: “Being part of the vast majority of folk, we are well aware of social distancing requirements and act accordingly without the need for barriers and silly signs that can hardly be read.

“They are meaningless at best and insulting at worst.”

The taxi rank remains in a new position opposite the Kings Head.

King Street will continue to be one way for pedestrians.

Marcia McLuckie, chair of Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association, was one of those who met with officers.

She said: “When holiday accommodation and attractions are allowed to re-open on July 4, this will bring much needed tourists back to the area, benefiting all businesses that have also been allowed to reopen.

“All our members will be carrying out risk assessments and applying the hygiene rules to their businesses, but it still remains important that we all stick to social distancing, particularly as more people start to come into town.”

2 Comments

  1. Get rid of the silly nonsense on King Street too. We are adults. Ignorant council needs to stop treating us like we are still in our nappies.

    • I agree with Mr Wilcockson re King Street. RDC are not required to ‘ tell ‘ members of the public which side of the street to walk on. The Council should remove the ill thought through tarmac ramps as they are a hazard and were unnecessary as mobility scooter and electric wheelchair users cannot safely travel on the cobbles because they unbalance the machine and cause extra drain on batteries. The taxi rank is now located dangerously and the perceived hazard regarding distancing is is now outweighed by the actual hazard of individuals needing to cross uneven and/or broken & missing cobbles. Those with walking difficulty cannot safely cross a cobbled area. Seems to happen often that adjustments/measures are put in place without sensible consideration.

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