Don’t rush to local beauty spots this weekend
Telford & Wrekin Council is asking residents and visitors to think before they travel this bank holiday weekend. With restrictions on exercise lifted by Government, the borough is starting to see large crowds at some of its most popular beauty spots including the Wrekin, Ironbridge and Telford Town Park.
Large crowds make social distancing difficult and are creating dangers on the roads due to traffic congestion and irresponsible parking.
Last weekend saw roads around the Wrekin crammed with cars making it unsafe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The narrow streets of Ironbridge were also filled with visitors who flocked to have a stroll along the river, particularly along the Wharfage.
Cones are now placed along the road near to the Wrekin to discourage drivers parking illegally on double yellow lines. These will remain in place for the foreseeable future and Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers will be patrolling the area.
As more and more businesses seek to reopen consideration is also needed for how social distancing can work when space is limited space. Because of this the Council is making some changes ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend to try and make it safer for everyone.
Parking along the Wharfage, Tontine Hill and High St will be suspended to allow for wider pedestrian walkways. The car park in the Square will also be closed so that people can safely queue outside to the shops there. There will also be signage asking motorcyclists to not park on pavements near to the Iron Bridge.
These measures need to be implemented quickly in order to keep people safe. Other alterations are being considered but are not yet finalised. Any changes would be implemented under an experimental traffic regulation Order meaning they would be monitored and altered as required.
Carolyn Healey cabinet member for Visitor Economy, Historic & Natural Environment and Climate Change Said “As much as we would love to welcome as many visitors as possible back to the Ironbridge Gorge, now just isn’t the right time.
“Most businesses are closed and there are no public toilet facilities available and physical space in the most places in Ironbridge is limited – it’s because of this we’re asking people not to travel and help keep our local communities safe.
Changes to the highway are in the interest of safety and are to help comply with Government guidelines on social distancing. We appreciate everyone’s support and patience during this period.”
The Council would like residents to stay at home as much as possible to help keep coronavirus case numbers in the borough low and protect the local NHS staff. Residents are being asked to exercise near to their homes or use some of the fantastic walking and cycling routes that the town has to offer which are often quieter.