Atherton Street closure so businesses can safely reopen

photo of atherton town centre

More outdoor space could be given to Atherton businesses to help with social distancing measures.

As part of Wigan Council’s plan to reopen town centres safely, the local authority proposes to temporarily close Market Street at weekends to enable outdoor seating areas and more space in the town to support businesses to operate.

It is hoped that the closure will come into effect from Saturday 11 July and will last throughout the summer months.

The proposals will prevent traffic using Market Street on Saturdays, 10:30am-11pm and on Sundays 10:30am-7pm.

Due to the impact on bus services, two temporary bus stops on Mealhouse Lane would also be put in place over the weekends.

Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux said: “It’s time to think differently about how we can support our businesses to recover from this pandemic.

“By providing more outdoor space during peak times such as weekends, we can help pubs, bars and restaurants to operate safely by minimising the risk of the virus spreading while allowing them to welcome more customers.
“We have been in contact with Transport for Greater Manchester about the impact on bus services on Market Street and they are supportive of our plans in the interests of reopening our high streets.”

The council has written to all pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer advice and support on how they can reopen.

Coun Molyneux added: “Local businesses are at the heart of our economy and we will do everything we can to help them thrive.

“We would like to thank the public for their hard work over the last three months but as more social settings reopen, we cannot become complacent.

“We continue to encourage residents to stay safe and be kind by keeping their distance from others, washing hands regularly and wearing face masks on public transport and in shops.

“By continuing to work together, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and avoid future lockdowns.”

Social distancing signage will be in place in town centres and local businesses can download Covid-19 materials from the council website to put in their establishments.

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