SHOPPERS will be told to keep moving if they stop for too long as a one-way pavement system is rolled out in Oxford.

Non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen from Monday and to prepare for this, Oxford City Council is instigating a series of changes throughout the city to help shoppers stick to the two-meter rule.

The main change will be a one-way pavement system on streets throughout Oxford city centre, where pedestrians will have to stick to the left-hand site.

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This will be in force on the busiest streets including High Street, Cornmarket Street, Broad Street, George Street and St Aldates.

An area around Frideswide Square and Hythe Bridge Street will also have a similar system in place.

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A map of the one-way pavements planned for Oxford City Centre. Picture: Oxford City Council

The one-way pavement system will also be used on Cowley Road.

To make sure that the streets do not become too crowded, there will be designated rest areas set aside as the only places people can stop to sit down.

Abandoned bicycles will be removed and shops are being asked not to put out street advertising such as A-boards.

Some 2,500 posters explaining the changes with simple maps and slogans are also being put up over the weekend, and arrows will be painted onto the streets showing the direction of travel.

Bus stops, benches and bins will be regularly cleaned by council staff wearing protective gear and steam-cleaning backpacks.

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Though the pavement changes are not enforceable with fines, a city councillor has appealed to the public’s goodwill and desire to help fellow Oxford residents stay safe.

Deputy council leader Tom Hayes said: “We are doing what government recommended we ought to be doing. We can put in place a framework and what we are then asking for is the citizens of Oxford to show their civic duty by looking out for each other and caring for one another.”

Ten council staff members involved in different teams within the authority will be acting as stewards, monitoring how the new measures are taken up and answering questions if needed.

The 2,500 posters will also be put up in district shopping centres including Cowley Road, Temple Cowley, Headington Shops, and Summertown.

Some of the posters will include a message similar to the Government’s coronavirus guidance, which will read ‘Keep your distance, look out for each other, protect your community’.

Other messages will also be displayed including ‘One Way, Keep Moving’ and ‘Queue Responsibly, Don’t Block the Pavement’.

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A selection of the posters, which will be placed on lampposts and other places throughout Oxford. Picture: Oxford City Council

The Covered Market is due to reopen with restricted access from Monday and Gloucester Green Market will follow suit on Wednesday.

Many of the city’s public toilets are also reopening from June 15, including at the Covered Market and Gloucester Green.

They will be regularly cleaned alongside other ‘high touch points’ including benches and bus stops.

New cycle parking is also being put in place at park and rides to encourage ‘park and pedal’ commuting, a measure called for two weeks ago by the pro vice chancellor of Oxford University.

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It is unclear how the new measures will fit in with some other initiatives which are being trialled in the same area.

For example, Oxfordshire County Council is currently operating a pilot to allow delivery bikes to travel along Queen Street, where bikes had previously been banned.

But the city council’s executive director of development Tom Bridgman said all measures being put in place were up for review depending on how they were received.

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A map of the one-way pavements planned for Cowley Road. Picture: Oxford City Council

A council phone number will be placed on some of the posters allowing shoppers to give their feedback on how the one-way pavements and other measures are working.

Mr Bridgman added that it was unknown how many shops would be reopening from Monday, or how many people were likely to return to the city centre for shopping immediately.

He added it was likely that the numbers of both were likely to grow over time, and said he expected the new measures to be in place for at least three months.

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His colleague at the council, project manager Ted Maxwell, said council workers would be marking one-way arrows and putting up posters from Friday night through to Sunday night.

Cabinet member Mr Hayes thanked council staff for the ‘mad dash’ of work they were undertaking to make sure the measures were swiftly put in place.

The works are funded by a £234,000 pot of money, £134,000 of which comes from the Government, and the rest of which comes from a fund made up of contributions from building developers in the city.

Similar social distancing measures are being pushed out across England as shops reopen, as councils follow a central government guidebook on how to get the economy going again after the lockdown.