Covid: Ceredigion towns' roads reopen as extra space scheme ends

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AberystwythImage source, Geograph/Richard Croft
Image caption,
The closures aimed to create more space for residents during the pandemic

Roads in several mid Wales towns which have been closed to allow extra space for people during the pandemic have reopened.

Ceredigion council shut roads in New Quay, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, and Cardigan to give extra space to people and allow businesses to extend outside.

Each of the roads, which were closed in July 2020, reopened fully on Sunday.

Ceredigion County Council said it was able to relax measures as the number of visitors reduced after the summer.

Some aspects of the so-called Safe Zones scheme will remain, such as wider footpaths and alternative traffic-flow arrangements in some areas.

The council said these remaining measures will "enable people to maintain a reasonable social distance whilst exploring the towns".

"It will also enable the council to respond swiftly should further lockdown measures be required," it added.

Despite some initial pushback to the scheme, which mostly saw the roads closed in the daytime but reopened in the evening, an early survey indicated a majority of residents agreed with the measures.

Image caption,
Road closures allowed many business to add extra outdoor seating on the empty streets

In a statement the council said: "The coronavirus remains a threat in our communities and infection rates are rising dramatically in every part of the county.

"Therefore, the Safe Zones continue to be a vital measure to allow people to roam the streets freely and safely without feeling exposed to the virus in any way."

The council said it would hold a further consultation on Safe Zones in the coming months to assess their impact going forward.