Tag: coronavirus

Hospitality in Ludlow reopens this weekend – enjoy a cake and a beer (and take care) #ludlowisopen

Ludlow is at its best when the pubs throng with customer and the tables in its cafes and restaurants are full. When there is a crowd on King Street and a crush on the market. Being close to strangers has long been part of our national experience.  Shambling along the streets. Jostling at the bar in the pubs. Crowding into the markets. At pop concerts. Less pleasantly, on trains and queuing for toilets. From today, we can go to cafes and pubs. From Wednesday, Ludlow Market is expected to have more stalls. Being closer that one metre has been banned. Along with shaking hands and hugging friends. It won’t be Ludlow as normal. It will be close encounters and a strange kind. But life will begin to come back to our town centre. People should, of course, take care. Media headlines have concentrated abuse of lockdown rules. But most people in Ludlow have shown common sense during lockdown and I am sure they will continue to do so.  We should stay local and shop local.

King Street closure order has come into force – it’s closed to vehicles every Friday and Saturday for up to 18 months

The closure of King Street between 10am and 3pm today and tomorrow is a temporary measure. Initially it will be in place for 18 months but it can be cancelled at any point if it is causing disruption. The closure is to promote social distancing on one of our busiest streets for traffic and pedestrians. In ordinary times, pedestrians squeeze along the narrow pavements with their shopping bags and pushchairs. They frequently spill out into the road, as do the drivers of mobility scooters, where they compete with cars and vans for use of the narrow street. This congestion has always been hard to resolve because shops need deliveries, town centre residents require access to their homes and people coming into town to shop or eat need to park. Now the experimental closure to motorised vehicles is underway. We must see how it works.

Boris Johnson’s announcement today is good news for Ludlow – it’s time to declare #ludlowisopen (at a social distance)

Two metre distancing has proved difficult on Ludlow’s narrow streets. It has proved impossible on many of its narrow pavements. The market reopened but there have been fewer stalls. People have been walking about, especially in the afternoons. But do they spend the money that we need to keep our town centre and its traders thriving? Can we get the buzz back into our town? That buzz has seemed an impossible ambition in recent weeks with Ludlow’s famous market operating at less than half its capacity. With Ludlow Castle closed. And our pubs, cafes and restaurants closed.   Many of us have felt like we were walking through a ghost town. We felt uncomfortable at times. Should we be there at all? Are we allowed to parade in our town? Can we hope to shop in our town? From 4 July, that should all change. Social distancing restrictions will be eased. It will not be business as usual but it will be business in Ludlow. Ludlow will be open!

Yesterday morning, Catherine Beanland, partner at Portcullis Surgery in the heart of Ludlow spoke to BBC Radio Shropshire about how Ludlow has reacted to the Covid-19 epidemic and how our community has responded. Telling Eric Smith and Clare Ashford that she initially feared as many as 200 deaths in Ludlow, she said how proud she was of how Ludlow responded to the emergency. She praised the care homes and Ludlow Community Hospital for how their staff selflessly coped with the arrival of Covid-19 in the Ludlow area. She praised the “enormous sacrifice” of time and family life that carers in Ludlow have made. Dr Beanland stressed that we are not out of the woods yet. It’s an ongoing battle not a victory. But Ludlow has coped well because our community has worked together to prepare for the arrival of the pandemic and lockdown, and support people during it.

Shropshire Council publishes order to close King Street to vehicles on Friday and Saturday 10am to 3pm

Today, Shropshire Council published the orders to close King Street during the middle of the day on Fridays and Saturdays. The closure will come into force next Friday, 26 June. There has been a lot of debate and confusion about this road closure. Many people want King Street with its “narrows” closed at peak periods seven days a week (see my poll). Others did not want it closed at any point, especially owners of town centre businesses. Ludlow Town Council wanted High Street closed as well. Then Shropshire Council unexpectedly decided to close King Street seven days a week. After something of a rumpus, the council decided to restrict the closure to two days. Which what we agreed in the first place. We must now see how this goes. We need to talk to businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors about how the closure helps them or whether it hinders them.

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