Monmouthshire County Council has issued an update on the traffic and social distancing measures introduced in Monmouth as part of its work to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The council’s chief executive Paul Matthews said: “This year has been difficult for everyone in Monmouthshire due to the effects of the pandemic, and it is expected that the challenges will continue into the Christmas period.

’’The Covid-19 pandemic has served up very difficult problems for families, voluntary organisations, businesses and governments alike.

“In Monmouth these issues have been compounded by the significant improvement scheme taking place in Agincourt Square, which has required traffic restrictions on Monnow Street in addition to the requirement of creating a safe environment for retailers and shoppers.

’’It will be well known that the council has over recent months piloted some new ideas in Monnow Street, including new road layouts, removal of some on-street parking and a dedicated cycle lane.

“Trials of this nature are always going to be contentious and divide opinion, but they were always going to be time-limited.

’’The work in Agincourt Square is due to be completed on October 19, when the road surface will be renewed. This will then give us the opportunity to reintroduce two-way traffic. This is our intention.

“The future of Monnow Street will need to be considered again because the nature of successful high streets are changing.

’’Any thinking around permanent one-way traffic or pedestrianisation will need to be accompanied with wider infrastructure improvements in and around the town and will include public consultation.

“It is therefore our intention to return to two-way traffic on completion of the works in Agincourt Square. We will look to see how we can retain some wider paving areas because Covid-19 will be with us for a while yet .

’’We have to preserve social distancing wherever possible to ensure the town is as COVID secure as possible. We are also very serious about promoting Active Travel, so this will continue to be at the forefront of our thinking.

“As we approach Christmas it’s more important than ever before that we all support Monmouth’s businesses, and those in all our towns and villages. The pandemic is still with us and neighbouring local lockdowns have already had an effect on businesses in Monmouthshire.

’’We have a second phase of our ‘Shop Local’ campaign launching soon, which will encourage us all to buy everything we need for Christmas locally. Together we can help keep our high streets vibrant, thriving places.”