Changes to Elgin town centre proposed to enable safe shopping
Moray Council is planning to provide space for safe physical distancing for pedestrians and more operational room for town centre businesses.
As part of a national initiative the Scottish Government’s guidelines on physical distancing means customers may have to queue outside retail & banking premises, and food & drink retailers want outside space to enable socially distanced trading. To facilitate this this will require parking restrictions and temporary road closures for Elgin town centre.
The proposals for Elgin town centre will mean pedestrianising a number of town centre streets to create the necessary space. This means the eastern and western elements of the High Street either side of the Plainstones, Batchen Street, Commerce Street and the southern section of Lossie Wynd will be closed to traffic between 11am and 4pm. The east section of South Street will be closed between 11am and 2.30pm
Developed with input from Elgin BID, support for the proposals has come from the 58 businesses that participated in the recent Spaces for People consultation.
Most businesses that are able to open have experienced queueing outside their premises on the pavement and pedestrian areas. Around 40% of respondents would like to use areas not in their control, such as the pavement or similar, for the safe queuing of customers or for tables & chairs. Over half the businesses selling food or drink support a shared public space for eating & drinking. Others declared clear support for reducing the number of cars in the town centre and increasing pedestrian space – particularly on Batchen Street.
The proposals mean we will need to relocate some disabled parking and taxi ranks. Alternative sites are available, and additional disabled parking spaces will be quickly provided in existing car parks.