Great Britain

How reopened high streets might look… with cars banned, wider pavements and ‘queue zones’ outside shops

BANNING cars, widening pavements, introducing special "queue zones" outside shops are just some of the drastic steps being mulled in a bid to save the Great British High Street. 

The Government has revealed a range of measures to combat Covid-19 before all stores resume trading in a fortnight.

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So called "queue zones" outside shops with spray markings and temporary barriers are one measure councils are being told. 

And limiting the number of cars in high streets or getting rid of them altogether is another radical idea. 

The guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also recommends widening pavements "to accommodate distancing between pedestrians".

Councils are even encouraged to think about either limiting the number of cars driving down high streets or banning them altogether.

It advises: "Traffic lanes could be closed, made one or completely pedestrianised."

Barriers in the road to widen pavements or removing parking bays are another suggestion.

Meanwhile signs reminding shoppers to follow social distancing rules by staying two metres apart will be added to lamp posts.

The same messages could be sprayed onto pavements using stencils. 


From today (Monday) open-air markets and car showrooms in England will be allowed to trade.

By June 15, non-essential stores can reopen, including clothes shops. 

Also resuming business are shops selling toys, books and electronics along with tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has urged town halls to take "radical" action to make it easier to cycle and walk around. 

He said the Government “expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts”, adding: “In the new world pedestrians will need more space”.

Meanwhile stores themselves are introducing strict anti-infection measures.

Waterstones says books browsed by customers will be put to one side for three days before going back on sale.

John Lewis, which will reopen its department stores in phases, has said changing rooms and cafes will remain closed.

Marks & Spencer bra-fitting will also stay closed for now.

Pavements have already been doubled at Camden High Street and Stoke Newington High Street, and widened at locations in Southwark, Hackney, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Croydon.


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