Wallingford Town Council is looking at closing streets to help lift lockdown and let small shops start trading again.

Both St Mary’s and St Martin’s streets could be closed to vehicles to support the town centre's traders when reopening is allowed after lockdown.

The council is currently asking small shops and businesses in the area if they would be in support of the proposed street closures with a survey running until Wednesday, May 20.

Read also: Coronavirus vaccine production centre being built in Oxfordshire

Town Mayor Lee Upcraft said: “We have a lot of small shops in Wallingford and it is going to be very difficult for them to operate with social distancing, so we are considering giving people much more space and reducing the traffic to the marketplace so they can use the road surface.

"Maybe work with traders and county council to let them put stalls on the pavements.”

Oxford Mail:

The roads in the market square would essentially be pedestrianised and market stalls could be able to trade on the road giving customers more space to social distance.

Although no cars will be allowed down the roads, deliveries would continue to be allowed to support traders.

Mr Upcraft said: “I think it could be a positive thing if it is done right.

"I think the trick is to make sure we make the whole area attractive for residents and visitors and find a way that works for the traders.

"I do not want to restrict visitors coming into town, I do not want to make it harder for them to go to the shops, so at this point we are only considering a limited closure to help the traders.”

Read also: David Johnston on the way out of lockdown with cautious first steps

The council is looking to close the roads from June 1 and possibly continue to pedestrianise the area after that.

Mr Upcraft added: “There is lots of advice from Government at the minute to try and make things happen, I have seen stories about trying to do this in London.

"I would hope we can work with county council, if we decide to do this, then we can have it in place for June 1 when we have been advised that most shops can re-open. I think it will be a nice thing to have in place for the summer.”

He added: “It also informs something long term if we want to do something along the lines of shared streets.

"Pedestrianisation is an aspiration for some of the community and it is an aspiration in our neighbourhood plan as well.

"This is the opportunity to test it and see if it works.”