A report recommending more than £71,000 of enhancements and repairs to Epping High Street as part of Epping Forest District Council’s Covid-19 Safer Places Project is before councillors.
The Portfolio Report by Cabinet member Councillor Aniket Patel sets out a range of measures, to be carried out quickly, to support pedestrians and cyclists. The measures complement earlier emergency works at the start of the Covid crisis.
Many of the improvements are being made with the help of the district council’s brand-new Highway Ranger service.
All the measures are designed to improve socially distanced access to Epping High Street. The money comes in addition to £17,000 allocated by Essex County Council.
Epping Market is central to the works. This extra District Council funding will support the installation of new retractable and lockable bollards, protecting the market while providing access for market vehicles to set up and clear away more safely.
Repair and refurbishment
Uneven paving slabs are being re-laid to reduce trip hazards, railings separating pedestrians from traffic are being repaired and repainted. Pedestrian signposts are being repaired or replaced and new recycling-friendly street litter bins are being installed.
Further work includes repair and refurbishment of eight public bench seats, removal of growth around the base of several street trees, repairs to tarmac on side roads and the installation of five new, non-moveable planters. General weeding and sprucing up of the high street along with the installation of new LED solar lighting at the drinking fountain will complete the job.
More attractive and more accessible
Councillor Patel, Commercial and Regulatory Services portfolio holder for Epping Forest District Council said:
This is a large set of small projects, to be delivered quickly for the benefit of people visiting Epping High Street.
We aim to make Epping more attractive and more accessible to pedestrians, facilitating social distancing while encouraging economic recovery of local businesses by bringing people safely to the market and local shops.
While each of the elements is small, the overall impact should be a brighter, safer and more attractive high street to support both local residents and businesses through Covid recovery.
Our new Highway Ranger Service is an important part of our flexible response to Covid, and I’m very pleased to see the new team taking on many of these tasks.
Councillors and staff are also in talks with representatives from other local high streets in other parts of the district to see what measures could make quick improvements to the safety of pedestrians and health of local businesses.
Listening to feedback
Councillor Patel added:
With winter approaching and the number of virus infections increasing, it’s really important to help where we can. We are having discussions in all our major high streets and listening to the feedback from residents.
Our public engagement website ‘Commonplace’ has received thousands of visits and many comments to help and guide us. We will continue to listen and come back with further projects wherever we can.
Have your say
Residents can find out more about how to have their say on our commonplace site.
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