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Coronavirus temporary town changes

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is making changes to the way that many town centres look to better support social distancing.

The temporary changes to the town centres are designed to help residents, businesses and families to remain safe as the government allows high streets to reopen in a phased and gradual manner.

The measures aim to provide space to pedestrians, allowing people to use our high streets safely, to queue outside shops and to pass each other at a suitable distance.

The new safety measures to help pedestrians include:

  • closing roads off to traffic
  • removing on street parking
  • narrowing of roads

Royston, Hitchin and Knebworth will be the first towns in North Herts to receive the new safety measures.

Visitors are encouraged to use council car parks where social distancing measures have been put in place.

To view details of the changes for each town on an interactive map, visit the Hertfordshire County Council website or download the maps at the bottom of this page.

You can find some frequently asked questions about the works on HCC's website.

This is part of the countywide response to coronavirus under the Herts Local Resilience Forum Tactical Co-ordinating Group (TCG). HCC is working with North Hertfordshire District Council and Public Health England to make these changes.

Contact Hertfordshire County Council 

If you would like to recommend a change in your town or if you are finding the measures difficult to work around, you can contact HCC's customer service centre on 0300 123 4047 or send your suggestion online.

Please be aware that with over 10,000km of road and footways in the county, there are operational challenges to implement changes in a short space of time. HCC will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate and prioritised action in line with policies and government guidelines.

How are Hertfordshire County Council changing town centres?

Hertfordshire County Council is working collaboratively with Public Health England and district and borough councils to respond to government guidance and introduce measures to better support social distancing.

In developing these plans they have engaged with councils to consider issues including:

  • how parking and loading may need to change;
  • impacts on refuse collection services;
  • agreeing a communications approach;
  • identifying areas where they may be able to support such as helping maintain traffic management;
  • access for emergency services;
  • access for delivery vehicles and residents;
  • identifying pedestrian priority measures, such as changed signal timings (signals change to green more quickly for pedestrians);
  • engaging with their Behavioural Psychology team, who have advised on the use of signage and measures to encourage social distancing.

Designs will ensure that measures being introduced are suitable and adaptable for local requirements, whilst providing the public health benefits needed. It will be a phased approach, led by public health guidance, as the county council observe the results of the easing of government restrictions. Unfortunately, HCC cannot introduce measures in all locations, but they will be continuing to work with councils and partners to deliver as much possible to support social distancing in a prioritised way.

HCC is monitoring the wider road network as the use of public transport and the increase in walking and cycling may result in the need to adapt the wider network to support these sustainable modes.

The types of measures they are introducing to support social distancing includes temporary road closures, closure of on street parking and lane restrictions. The type of measure introduced will be designed specifically to each location.