News just in from Essex County Council about the decision to lift the closure of Brentwood High Street:
"In July a key section of Brentwood High Street was closed to most traffic to enable safer social distancing for people in the town centre.
At the same time, County and Brentwood Borough Councillors set up a monitoring group to ensure that the voices and experiences of businesses, residents and shoppers were heard and understood.
The group has heard from a wide range of people during the closure period and has agreed to end the closure and lift it from today.
Brentwood High Street has therefore been fully re-opened from this morning, once again allowing all traffic, including private vehicles, deliveries, taxis and private-hire vehicles access to the entire High Street.
Barriers, parking bay closures and other temporary measures will be removed.
Councillor Lesley Wagland, Essex County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “Our initial Safer, Greener, Healthier highway measures enabled us to provide the space people in Brentwood needed to resume moving around and shopping safely. I’m very grateful for the regular communication the monitoring group has had with the High Street community. We want to help, and we are doing everything we can to give the public confidence to shop in Brentwood town centre and rebuild the local economy.
“At a recent meeting of the Monitoring Board we concluded that the core steps taken under the Government’s temporary measures have served their immediate purpose and should be removed. This is now taking place.
“We will now focus on longer-term measures in the Brentwood and Shenfield area to help accessibility, particularly for cycling and walking to and around the town centre. There is, for instance, a lot of support from the monitoring group for a complete ‘Sunday only’ closure of Brentwood High Street to all vehicles, including buses, and this is being looked at.
“A number of other options have also been discussed which form part of a bid for further Department for Transport Emergency Active Travel funding that has been submitted by Essex County Council.”
Councillor Chris Hossack, Brentwood Borough Council Leader, said: “We were pleased to work with Essex County Council on the measures introduced initially and we are pleased to be continuing to work with ECC on future Safer, Greener, Healthier ideas and opportunities.
“Feedback and analysis make it clear that there are risks and opportunities with any closure of Brentwood High Street. It has allowed people to social distance well and the closure served that purpose for the time it was in place.
“Ideas are being discussed for a ‘Sunday only full-closure’ to be introduced, but more work is being done to assess its viability. We have also continued to work with Essex County Council on the bid for further Department for Transport Emergency Active Travel funding and we now wait on the outcome of the bid process later this year.”