Hatfield Road parking suspension is "disastrous" for business, High Street closure unnecessary and expected to cause traffic chaos
Shopkeepers and takeaway restaurants on Hatfield Road are saying the removal of kerb-side parking is a "disaster". They were unaware the scheme was being implemented and were not consulted. The measures are to improve social distancing and are being done under emergency powers.
A shopkeeper said: "Coronavirus killed my business and now this is killing it a second time". A takeaway business owner said: “I have stayed open to just cover the rent and rates of my business. This will have a big impact on my business. If I close then 7 people will lose their jobs. This is going to hurt the economy when we all need to help the economy.”
Looking at many of the barriers on Hatfield Road and the High Street it was not even clear there is a social distancing issue to address when we visited on Wednesday 27 May.
The High Street has also been closed to improve social distancing. The HCC website says the closure permit is until 31 January! https://one.network/custom/hertfordshire/
Market Place has also been closed to traffic and parking until 31 January.
George Street is due to be closed to traffic from 28 May.
We fully understand the need for social distancing to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, with shops due to open in June and pubs and restaurants due to open in July, it is difficult to see how a 2m rule outdoors can be justified necessary. Along with local business owners, we are asking for an immediate re-think specifically on the closure of the High Street and the removal of business-related parking on Hatfield Road.