Stencilled social distancing street markings and one-way system to ‘make Sidmouth safer’ as town prepares to reopen for business

Stencils like these will be used to paint social distancing markings and a one-way system on Sidmouth pavements to protect residents and visitors from coronavirus.

They will be introduced in the town centre in a bid keep people two metres apart and stop the spread of Covid-19 now lockdown rules have been relaxed.

Further safeguards being considered include closing streets deemed too narrow and creating temporary paths to increase space.

High Street, Fore Street, and up to The Esplanade, New Street, Church Street and the Three- Cornered Plot are expected to be included in the one-way system.

It will see pedestrians travel in a loop to avoid passing each other.

Markings painted onto pavements using stencils will accurately show a two-metre distance, while others will urge pedestrians to ‘keep your distance’ and remind the public of the one-way system.

Sidmouth

The stencil that will be used on pavements in Sidmouth to show the public an exact two-metre distance.

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An example of the stencil that will remind the public using Sidmouth’s one-way system to keep their distance.

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An example of the One Way stencil that will be used on pavements in Sidmouth.

It is expected the one-way route will start at the top of the High Street, take in Fore Street, up to The Esplanade.

Pedestrians would be encouraged to keep to the one-way track and to cross the road onto the pavement opposite to make any return journey.

Other protection measures already in place include an extra path cut into grass at Long Park to allow for social distancing.

Councillor Stuart Hughes and small team of Devon County Council Highways and Sidmouth Town Council maintenance workers could begin the stencil painting as early as Wednesday next week.

The plan is for the town to get ahead of the curve and be ready for when businesses are allowed to reopen.

It is hoped is the safeguarding measures will attract visitors once the town reopens, and kick-start Sidmouth’s economy.

Cllr Hughes said: “If you are going down the town, you come up the other way straight back up to the top of town.

“If you go into Tesco, you have got a one-way system.

“If you miss something in one of the aisles, you have to go around the shop again. It’s not going to be a as bad as that because it doesn’t stop you crossing the road. You can do that. You go down one way and come back up the other side.

“If it works elsewhere, why can’t it work in Sidmouth? You always get some people that won’t take any notice. If the majority of people stick by it, it’s going to make Sidmouth a safer place to visit.

“It’s worked in other places in Europe. I see no reason why it can’t work here in Sidmouth to enhance the shopping experience and make it safe for the population, the residents of Sidmouth and visitors.”

Christopher Holland, the clerk of Sidmouth Town Council, said the plan was to be ahead of the curve at a slow and steady pace, and have the town prepared for when businesses were allowed to reopen.

He added: “What we wanted to do was to show people that are visiting Sidmouth, and primarily our residents of Sidmouth, they can move around safely.”

Paint used for the pavement stencils showing the one-way system and correct social distance spacing will be non-permanent and fade over time.

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