Shoppers and traders at Northallerton market enjoyed their visit today (17 June), as new safety measures came into force to support them.
Northallerton and Skipton high streets are now closed on market days to enable shoppers to enjoy the markets and reopened local shops while allowing room to queue and pedestrians to pass safely.
This is one of many measures North Yorkshire County Council, working closely with district and borough councils, has put in place to enable social distancing and to encourage walking and cycling.
Paul Beswick, of Beswick’s Fruit and Veg, said: “We have a nice wide pavement for everybody to walk on so I think people are feeling a lot safer to be out and about. Our stall has got hand sanitiser, Perspex screening and our baskets are being wiped after each customer. Hopefully we can all get back to normal safe and well.”
Ruth English, of Winnie’s Yorkshire Delights, said: “It’s great to be back on the market. Not only from a business point of view but to have a chat and see how customers are getting on. We have made it as safe as possible and we are here to help.”
Non-essential shops were given the go-ahead to open on Monday (15 June), meaning there were more shoppers than on previous market days.
Jack from Northallerton said: “It’s certainly useful for the high street to be pedestrianised which allows people more space to shop at the stalls. They are delighted to be out of lockdown – particularly the elderly – and to be shopping on the high street once again.”
Another shopper Julie added: “This is absolutely amazing. Just having the freedom to walk about and feel free with the market being set out like this. It’s quite continental and you feel like you’re on holiday.”
Mary from Alne came to Northallerton especially to visit the new-look market. She said: “It’s a nice safe place to be. I’ve bought some lovely plants, plenty of variety. It’s a lovely day out.”
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: "It is really good to see our retail outlets opening up once again and to see shoppers back on our high streets. Nevertheless, we still need to protect ourselves from the coronavirus and that is why North Yorkshire County Council, in partnership with the borough, district and town councils and with local business organisations, has introduced these special measures to support social distancing to keep everyone safe."
Other measures include coning off sections of the carriageway and parking bays to widen footways. Details will be kept under constant review and any changes will be published online at on our social distancing and active travel page.