TRADERS in the lower end of Holton Road, Barry, have questioned the effectiveness of measures intended to protect shoppers from covid-19.

The measures, involving the blocking of on-street parking bays and signage, were installed on the eve of the re-opening of non-essential shops.

Vale ambassadors, meant to supervise, were sent home.

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Evolve hair salon owner Claire Cullinane said: “I hadn’t officially found out. It was when I came in I saw the street had been bollard off on both sides. There is a one-way system apparently in place.

“There are people walking up and down both sides in any direction. It’s there for public safety and it’s quite simply not working. There’s large lorries parking on the pavements for deliveries now. Some communication would have been appreciated.”

Town News owner, Michelle Andrews said: “I’ve got disabled customers, I’ve got deliveries. How am I supposed to trade?”

The Vinyl Frontier co-owner, Alan Storey said: “When the smaller shops get to open that don’t have queues we go into super-infectious covid mode.

“You’ve got to look at the timing of this and the shambles of carrying it out. The ambassadors didn’t start because they were training.

“If it’s a box-ticking exercise they haven’t got it right. They have made no provision for disabled people or blind. It is a joke. No consultation, no information, no implementation.”

A resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I have no idea what possessed the council to think that having a one way system for pedestrians in Holton Road was a good idea. How it will stop the spread of the virus is anybody’s guess and it’ll just annoy people.

“Preventing cars from parking in Holton Road will mean even less people will turn up to shop there and that’s not going to help the hard pressed traders who are desperately trying to make a living.

“Who the hell is advising our councillors?”

Vale council cabinet member for education and regeneration, Cllr Lis Burnett said safety measures were designed to promote social distancing and protect visitors.

She said: “Before their introduction, two resilience forum meetings to communicate the changes were held and attended by traders groups across the Vale, including those from Holton Road.

“A third meeting, looking specifically at Barry town centre and Barry Island, was held and included representatives of trader groups.

“We have asked trader groups to communicate the changes to their members across the Vale.

“A plan to introduce ambassadors, who would offer guidance and advice to shoppers, has been paused after a number of confrontations.

“The council will review this idea in the weeks to come. Parking bays have been removed in order to increase space for pedestrians and again promote social distancing.

“New signage will be introduced in the coming weeks and the situation is being reviewed and discussed with traders on a weekly basis.”