Seafront could be closed to traffic to improve safety for tourists
PUBLISHED: 12:01 13 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 13 June 2020
Part of a resort’s seafront could be closed to traffic this summer to help businesses reopen – and make the area as safe as possible for visitors.
Felixstowe is determined to allow as many people as possible to enjoy trips to the seaside as long as they obey social distancing rules.
Preparations are already taking place with beach huts being moved back onto the shore where possible, new steps to the beach have been put in place at Manor End to replace those which collapsed following erosion, and other repairs and maintenance have been taking place.
This week a new fish and chip shop opened, Saltwater at the Forum in Sea Road, which initially will be doing takeaway but later will have a 50-seater restaurant.
Now consideration is being given to closing part of Sea Road for the season, and also to one-way systems in side roads affected, to create more space for queuing outside kiosks and other businesses and allow large numbers of people to be in the area and stay two metres away from each other.
Felixstowe Town Council was told the use of other areas – such as the Landguard Peninsula, the Beachside events area and greensward areas off Sea Road – was also being examined as part of an action plan.
Mayor Mark Jepson said the work was essential to address queuing at business premises in Sea Road, mainly in the area where the kiosks and other businesses are, and to ensure social distancing and talks were taking place with traders to get the right solution.
He said: “We are talking about the area with the kiosks and restaurants and trying to help people queuing at those premises and keep them socially distanced – this is a consultation phase and that is the rationale behind it.”
Mr Jepson officially opened the new Saltwater venue on Wednesday – the newest addition to the seafront.
It had been due to open in the week lockdown was announced and since then has been planning and preparing to run as a takeaway, putting the restaurant element on hold until later.
The new steps at the beach at Manor End replace those which had to be demolished after erosion. East Suffolk Council installed the new wooden flight and took away the rubble from the old ones.