All you need to know about the re-opening of Peterborough city centre venues this weekend

Around half of pubs bars and restaurants will be re-opening in Peterborough this weekend as lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
City centre restaurants to re-open at St John's Square. EMN-200629-162912009City centre restaurants to re-open at St John's Square. EMN-200629-162912009
City centre restaurants to re-open at St John's Square. EMN-200629-162912009

With plenty of city centre venues opening - all with social distancing measures in place - it is hoped a cafe-cultre style atmosphere will be created as people head out to support local businesses.

To help businesses ensure there is enough space to keep everyone safe this summer, Peterborough City Council is encouraging pubs, bars and restaurants to extend out onto the streets, such as Cathedral Square, Bridge Street and the Guild Hall where possible.

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This is expected to take place later in the summer once businesses have got used to being open and the city council is currently work with individual businesses to allow outdoor seating wherever possible.

Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member at Peterborough City Council, said: “Like many of you, I’m really looking forward a return to socialising (at a safe distance), but we understand that some people will be more cautious.

“That’s why we want to give you all the information you need to know before you plan your visit, including what to expect and what the city is doing to help keep you safe.

“For those of you who decide to join us, over the coming summer we are working with businesses to help you enjoy a morning latte before the day heats up, alfresco lunches and evening cocktails by sunset. Who needs a European break when you’ve got it all on your doorstep?”

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Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants is great for businesses and our local economy. This will be a gradual re-opening and we will be providing support and guidance to help businesses they need over the coming months and to share advice on suppliers of equipment and best practice.”

Anyone planning on visiting the pub this weekend should:

- Check opening times - Not all pubs, bars and restaurants will be opening this Saturday. Check that the business you plan to visit is open and check opening times before you go.

- Check booking policies - The government now requires pubs, bars and restaurants to take contact details of their customers. This means that some will not be allowing walk-ins and may require you to book your visit in advance. Check with the business you plan to visit before coming into the city centre to avoid disappointment.

- Avoid peak times and expect queuing - All pubs, bars and restaurants will have a maximum number of customers they can allow in their establishment and a limited space for queuing. You may be asked to return later if it is busy. To try and avoid this we ask residents to arrive promptly for pre-booked visits.

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- Visit local - To limit your interaction with others it is recommended that you visit businesses that are local to you. This will also help businesses which employ city residents and benefit our local economy to bounce back following Covid-19.

- Be aware of toilet facilities - Be aware there are reduced toilet facilities in the city centre at this time. The bus station toilets will be closed. The toilets in Queensgate on Level 1 will be fully operational including baby changing, ladies/gents and disabled with increased cleaning. The Car Haven toilets will be fully open from Mon-Fri (8am-5pm) and Sat/Sun (10am-4pm), including ladies/gents, disabled and a specially adapted changing places facility.

- Walk or cycle short distances - It’s easier and safer to walk or cycle short distances, rather than relying on public transport. To help you do this,the council is introducing pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements, more bicycle storage and are investigating non-touch traffic crossings in the city centre.

- Council-owned car parks will continue to be free of charge until 13 July.

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- Practice good hand hygiene - Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Read further information.

- If travelling by bus, check times before you leave and wear a face covering - Operators are still running a reduced service. Check for the latest bus timetables on the Travelchoice website before you travel. New Government legislation has made it compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.

- If travelling by taxi or private hire - make sure you check with the operator if face coverings are expected to be worn. The Government have not made it mandatory that face coverings be worn when travelling in taxis and private hires, but the operators of the vehicles may insist on them.

- Do not attend if you or your household are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms - if you or anyone in your home have related symptoms or are suffering from Covid-19 you must not leave your home.

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To keep visitors safe, all businesses and public areas have been asked to complete the Government’s Covid-19 risk assessment and to display this in their windows. This includes measures such as one-way systems, reduced footfall/seating, closed changing rooms, counter screens and a raft of new measures to ensure the safety of both staff and customers. The council’s regulatory services team will be monitoring this over the coming weeks. Further information is available online.

There will be enhanced street cleaning as more venues open in the city centre - Aragon Direct Services are continuing with a regular hot wash of the city centre and a daily cleanse of all benches, bins and other high touch points.

St Peter’s Arcade will remain closed - Following a Covid-19 risk assessment, the railings and limited space available in accessing the arcade from St Peter’s Road. This will also allow the Argo Lounge to expand into the arcade and onto the Bridge Street.

Some non-essential stalls in the market will be re-opening from 7 July. The council is looking at options to move others outdoors to allow social distancing.

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The council are also planning temporary highway changes to allow more people to walk and cycle into the city

Cowgate - the council have written to all businesses on Cowgate to discuss proposals for parking bays being suspended to allow more room for pedestrians and businesses.

Broadway - The parking bays near Westgate have been suspended to allow more room for pedestrians and cyclists. Upper Broadway (Northminster to Burghley Square) will have parking bays suspended and pop-up cycle lanes installed.

Cattle Market Road - From 15 June, parking bays suspended to allow more room for pedestrians.

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City Road - A pop-up cycle lane will be installed between St Johns and Northminster (westbound only).

Crescent Bridge - A temporary pop-up cycle lane will open on Crescent Bridge this Thursday night. The cycle lane will occupy one of the road lanes so Crescent Bridge will change from three lanes to two lanes. This will be monitored for its impact on congestion.

Cross Street and King Street - Looking at options to close these roads to through traffic and have written to all the businesses to discuss this proposal.

Priestgate and Wentworth Street - These roads will become one-way with parking bays suspended.


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The main bus station in Queensgate will be open with a one-way system in place, calling for people to keep left and other social distancing measures, including reduced seating and a limit on people using the lift at the same time. Toilets will remain closed at the moment.

The temporary bus station at Ackland Street which is open-air will remain open.

All measures are being coordinated by the Peterborough Economic Recovery Programme (PERP), a partnership comprising of Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough Positive, Opportunity Peterborough and local businesses.