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Safe social distancing in Birmingham’s city centre

Social distancing markings in Birmingham City Centre
Published: Friday, 12th June 2020

As lockdown begins to ease, with people returning to work and non-essential retail set to re-open from 15 June, Birmingham City Council are progressing social distancing measures in the city centre

Road and pavement markings to support the public on social distancing, and help businesses adapt and respond to the new Government requirements, are currently being implemented along New Street, Birmingham High Street and Corporation Street to help the public move around the city safely.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council said: “The coming weeks will see a gradual return to work for businesses. We must ensure that measures are in place to help people travel in and around the city centre safely, whilst adhering to Government guidelines.

“I welcome the new developments and am pleased that we are able to make key changes quickly to support safe movement.”

The new measures have been co-designed by Birmingham’s Retail Business Improvement District (BID).

Sam Watson, Chair, Retail BID Birmingham, said: “A lot of work has been undertaken by the city centre BIDs, the city council and our businesses to ensure that we create an environment that will allow customers to feel safe to return to the city centre and enjoy shopping in our stores again.

“The BID patrol officers have been on duty during lockdown supporting businesses and making sure their premises are secure and ready to open again.

“We’re excited to see the city centre reopen for business and we’re looking forward to welcoming back workers and visitors. It’s good to be back.”

Those travelling in and out of the city centre are being advised to continue to follow Government guidance on social distancing.

Councillor Zaffar added: “Some of the streets in the city centre do not have footways of adequate width to support two-way pedestrian movement and social distancing. In these situations, I urge everyone to be vigilant and to try to walk on the left if possible, in order to maintain a safe distance whilst keeping people moving.

“The people of Birmingham have shown so much strength in these past few months. They have adapted amazingly during this pandemic. Whilst we gradually ease out of lockdown it is so important that we continue to be considerate and accommodating, to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.”

Work to implement the initial measures started yesterday evening (Thursday 11 June) and are due for completion on Saturday 13 June, weather permitting.

The latest developments are part of the council’s Emergency Transport Plan which was published last month. The plan outlines a number of short, medium and long-term measures for a low-carbon recovery from Covid-19, including the provision of social distancing infrastructure within the pedestrianised areas of Birmingham’s city centre.