Category: Health

Shropshire Council agrees to limit road closures for coronavirus in Ludlow and spins the reason why

As I explained this morning, Shropshire Council had made something of a mess of introducing road closures to promote social distancing in Ludlow. Today, the council issued a press release, which I copy below. This abandons any idea of closing High Street at any point. It also abandons the idea that King Street should be closed seven days 10am to 3pm. The closure would only be on Friday and Saturday. The press release says this is “following concerns raised by local councillors and the town council”. That’s spin worthy of Alastair Campbell. It is now clear that despite two town council meetings formally agreeing Friday and Saturday closure only, Shropshire Council decided that it would go for a seven day closure regardless. It was only under pressure over three days that Shropshire Council backed down.

Shropshire Council withdraws seven day closures for King Street and High Street in favour of agreed two day closures for King Street

The last seven days have not been Shropshire Council’s finest hours. Especially for its highway’s managers. Last Thursday or thereabouts, it issued an experimental traffic regulation order closing King Street and High Street every day of the week between 10am and 3pm. On Friday afternoon it issued a press release confirming the closure from Monday morning. Only yesterday afternoon, did highway’s managers admit that the experimental TRO was wrong. We had agreed closure on Fridays and Saturdays during the middle of the day. And only for King Street. Not for High Street. Not for Sunday to Thursday. The result of the confusion is that the agreed King Street road closure, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 3pm, will not be in place until next week.

I don’t believe this. It does not accord with the facts. It will be a closure on Frday and Saturday only. (In an earlier version of the article, the headline read that the roads would be closed to 7pm. Apologies.) On Friday, Shropshire Council said King Street and High Street would be closed in the middle of the day seven days a week. That’s despite the portfolio holder for transport, Steve Davenport telling councillors that the closure would be just Fridays and Saturdays. And would only apply to King Street. That’s what will all think will be the case. But Shropshire Council has published details of the seven day road closures. Either highways officers don’t know what is going on or the cabinet doesn’t know what is going on. Does anyone in Shropshire Council know what is going on? A senior manager of highways this afternoon, three days after the issue was raised, said: “I’m talking this through with colleagues as I type, then I will update later by email, and then intend to call later or first thing in the morning in order to ensure all are aware and any solution is shared and hopefully agreed by all.” Make…

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The Black Lives Matter movement is one of the most important of our times. We have too often paid lip service to equality. Too many of us have ticked the boxes without addressing the underlying issues of discrimination and disadvantage. On Friday evening, a Black Lives Matter protest, it might be better called a gathering, will be held in Linney Park under strict social distancing rules. The organisers have worked hard to create a three metre social distanced event. We cannot ignore Black Lives Matter just because we live in a town that is not racially diverse. We cannot ignore Black Lives Matter because the protest has erupted when we, and much of the world, is under lockdown restrictions.

Poll reveals six in ten people want immediate pedestrianisation of some of Ludlow town centre #coronavirus

The poll has closed. The results are in. My website poll launched midday Saturday received 760 votes. Six in ten people who responded to the poll favoured some form of pedestrianisation of the town centre (61%). The others wanted no road closures at any point. Up for debate was a proposal agreed at Ludlow Town Council to close King Street and High Street to vehicles between 10am and 3pm on Fridays and Saturday. The aim is to promote social distancing. I put four options into the poll. A quarter of people who responded want the streets closed seven days a week (26%). More than one fifth want closures on Saturday and Sunday instead (22%). Just 13% favour Ludlow Town Council’s proposal of closure on Fridays and Saturdays.

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