Partial road closures to help social distancing in New Milton town centre

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road closures new milton
Social distancing signs on New Milton’s Station Road

TWO partial road closures are among measures being put in place to help with social distancing in the centre of New Milton following the reopening of non-essential shops.

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The town council has been given the go-ahead by Hampshire County Council for the work which it hopes will provide a safer environment to encourage more shoppers to return to the high street amid the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown.

From Sunday a small part of Old Milton Road will be temporarily closed, from the traffic lights junction with Station Road to the Elm Avenue junction.

As reported in the A&T, this work will involve the left-hand lane from Station Road south being coned off at the traffic lights to allow pedestrians to spill onto it. This would address a narrow section of pavement stretching from outside Superdrug to Charles Nobel jewellers on the corner.

The closure of Station Road’s junction with Old Milton Road is also intended to ensure safer passage for pedestrians negotiating the opposite corner outside Kimbers carpet store.

Both corners have been described as “blind” by the town council, which said pedestrians often bump into each other while using them. Without the closure, it said it would have been impossible to maintain at least one metre of social distance at these points.

On Sunday, a temporary road closure will also be put in place at a small section of Osborne Road from its junction with Station Road north towards Spencer Road.

This is to help with safer traffic movement and pedestrian passage around the Lloyds Bank area towards New Milton Disability Information Service and Shoecare.

Access to the New Forest District Council car parks in Elm Avenue and Osborne Road, as well as existing businesses, will be maintained together with on-street parking in Station Road.

A town council spokesperson said: “New Milton Town Council wishes to encourage shoppers back to our local high street to support local shops and businesses by providing the safest environment possible.

“The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount, and we would like everyone to enjoy the wide variety of our shops on offer, in a safe and secure environment. We have been working closely with HCC and NFDC regarding this.

“That is why we are implementing these additional measures following the recent relaxation of some restrictions, noting that social distancing remains inasmuch as the minimum guideline now is one metre-plus, but it remains at two metres where at all possible.”

The council’s town development manager, Suna King, added: “We are also keen that our town centre provides a pleasurable environment to shoppers.

“We’re especially proud of our independent traders right now, not just for all the safety measures they’ve been implementing themselves – but for how much they do to welcome and help customers, to give them a great shopping experience.”

Since last Monday’s shopping relaunch there has been controlled entry to stores as well as signage along the length of Station Road encouraging social distancing on the pavements.

HCC previously told the A&T New Milton would be the first to see the “implementation of measures to assist with social distancing and cycling and walking”. Lymington and Totton are among other towns set to follow.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. how long before disabled are disadvantaged again?
    On 6 june 2020 More bus co forgot to put any signs up saying no buses OUT of the high street.
    Council coned off the bus stops early morning & then removed the cones, meanwhile no one knew if buses were running as no twitter updates.
    Elderly & disabled expected to mind read again & then walk half mile to Priestlands place to get a bus.
    NONE of the bus stop timetables are accurate so people are supposed to guess the bus times!

  2. This has to be such an ill-thought out measure. Shops are going to lose even more customers, congestion will a nightmare and air pollution will increase

  3. My main concern is how fast emergency vehicles will be able to reach some areas if needed with the road closures. This has made accessing some areas of New Milton difficult and more congested. I now have to drive down the high street to get to work, which is much slower (and I am adding to the traffic).

  4. How crazy is this. Absolutely ridiculous. Utter chaos. Enough to put off anyone coming to New Milton. I am a local resident but will certainly not shop in New Milton while this madness continues. Who is responsible for these ideas ? I suspect the same person who has caused anger and frustration by closing the local recycling centre for weeks and then opening it but allowing only limited cars and now only by appointment. One very unhappy resident.

  5. I tried to put a comment here but it was deleted as it “required moderation”. Please tell me why. I was not offensive just expressing my view. What has happened to free speech. We are all doomed.

    • Hi John. It wasn’t deleted – all new contributors have to wait to be verified on their first comment to avoid spam spoiling it for everyone. All the best.

  6. Having used this area of the high street a few times this week I’d like to say how much easier it is now for pedestrians. No more squeezing past outside the jewellers on the corner and much easier to cross the road. It’s a pity the whole of the lower part of Station Road isn’t pedestrianised as it would have a much nicer feel and make a visit to the town centre a much more pleasant experience without the constant queues of traffic in all directions.

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