Main route through Penrith closed to maintain social distancing - but some traders are unhappy

The main route through Penrith has been closed to vehicles on the first weekend since non-essential shops have been allowed to reopen.

Cumbria County Council say the measures are to maintain the ongoing social distancing guidelines from the Government, to manage road space and limit the risk to the general public by reducing the amount of traffic in and around Penrith town centre.

Residents, blue badge holders and delivery vehicles are still allowed through.

Credit: PA

Councillor Helen Fearon, local member of Penrith West, said: "These temporary measures are important to maintain social distancing guidance and while they may cause some initial disruption as we all get used to the new restrictions, I'd ask for everyone's cooperation and understanding as we are all adapting to new ways of living and working during this difficult time.

"The new measures will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

"I understand that the business community in Penrith may have some concerns regarding the new temporary measures, however I'd like to reassure them that we will continue to work closely with them and support them to overcome any challenges the new measures may create."

Several traders have already voiced their anger after only a few days of opening their businesses again.

Nigel Airey from Poppins Paints told ITV Border "This is a business that's been here 50 years we've seen it all.

"Personally I've been here over 30 years and we know as soon as they close the road the business and the town dies. The virus wasn't going to destroy us but this is."