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Gloucestershire Business News

Forest removing distancing barriers after public response

Barriers placed across towns to help with social distancing in the Forest of Dean are to be removed - because people did not feel they helped with safety.

Forest of Dean District Council and four town councils across the area have made the decision after only 10 per cent of people said the water-filled barriers made them feel safer.

Work on removing the barriers will begin tomorrow and be completed early next week.

Councillor Bernie O'Neill, the district council's cabinet member for economy, said: "We introduced a series of temporary measures in line with national guidelines in the hope of encouraging more people to shop safely in our town centres.

"In particular we wanted residents to feel safe while shopping.

"Feedback from traders and residents simply hasn't been supportive of the measures and government guidelines about social distancing have since changed."

He continued: "Our other work, including hand sanitiser installations and advice and materials to businesses about safe reopening will continue and these have been very well received.

"We'll continue to develop and adapt this to include new advice like the messaging on face masks.

"The negative side of the removal of the barriers is that we will have very limited space available for granting pavement licences, allowing outside seating at pubs, cafes and restaurants.

"When licensing regulations change later this month, Forest of Dean District Council will support our business community by not charging for applications to install outside seating."

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