‘Social distancing’ barriers removed from Gloucestershire towns after Covid rules change

The barriers in Tewkesbury (left) and Cheltenham (right) are being removed. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

Barriers installed in Gloucestershire towns to help enforce social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic are being removed.

Gloucestershire County Council announced its plans to remove the red and white barriers from Bath Road in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury High Street on Tuesday 20 July.

They were installed in May 2020 to make it easier for pedestrians to comply with social distancing.

But following the lifting of restrictions in England on Monday 19 July, the council said such measures were “no longer a legal requirement”.

The barriers in Cheltenham's Bath Road. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

“The red and white barriers on Bath Road, Cheltenham will be removed tonight as agreed with Cheltenham Borough Council,” the authority posted on Twitter.

“Whilst no longer a legal requirement, social distancing, face coverings and regular handwashing are still effective ways to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid.

‘We will miss them’ - reaction

The news has been met with a mixed response from residents and pedestrians on social media.

One Twitter user wrote: “It was so much safer and pleasant without parked cars lining the road. Can a more permanent alternative be put in place?”

Though some users were pleased the barriers were being removed, citing safety concerns when trying to cross the road.

“It made crossing the road more dangerous due to bottlenecks and people almost falling over them trying to climb over,” one person said.

“I watched many an old person almost fall over trying to climb over them. Also caused massive problems for traffic.”