SHROPSHIRE Council is considering closing Whitchurch High Street to traffic and making Wem High Street one-way in a bid to help safely reopen town centres.

The council say they are making good progress in their work to ensure that people can safely and easily visit towns in line with social distancing regulations once shops and other businesses start to re-open.

Ways to make the town centres more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly are under consideration, along with signage, road markings, car park improvements and the possible temporary closures of roads.

The operation and cleaning of buses is also being looked at.

Council officers and councillors are in the process of visiting towns across the county to meet with local town councils and business representatives to see and better understand what changes could or should be made.

A number of measures are currently under consideration and could be agreed and introduced in the coming days and weeks, subject to design work, funding and legal considerations.

In Whitchurch this includes the closure of High Street to traffic and reallocation of highway space for amenity and trade, in Ellesmere the reallocation of carriageway space for pedestrians to reduce potential pedestrian conflict and in Wem the introduction of a one-way system in High Street.

Additional cycle parking countywide is also being considered, along with the reallocation of road space, removal or relocation of parking and loading to alleviate pedestrian conflict and social distancing issues, as well as the issue of queuing at banks, ATMs and bus stops.

All of the schemes will be temporary but will be monitored and evaluated to see if there is a positive impact that would justify possible future permanent solutions.

If schemes raise any issues once implemented, because of their temporary nature they can quickly be removed.

Steve Davenport, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said final plans will be revealed in due course.

He said: "We've been working hard over the past couple of weeks to review our town centres and consider what changes and improvements could be made.

"We're visiting each of the main market towns, and holding discussions with local councillors and partners.

"These are proposed actions with more detail still to be added following our assessments, and what and how much we're able to bring forward will depend on funding, resources and further design work.

"We'll announce our final plans for each town as soon as everything is agreed and confirmed.

"Initially we'll implement schemes as trials or temporary measures, and we'll regularly monitor and review them to help determine if they should be made permanent in the future."