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Temporary high street measures introduced because of the Covid epidemic are starting to wind down in most of Dorset but will stay in place in Shaftesbury.

The X2 bus service will also start in the town next week.

A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: ‘Temporary pedestrian and traffic measures put in place across the Dorset Council area to help with social distancing will start to be removed as the summer season draws to an end.

‘Due to the town’s narrow streets, measures in Shaftesbury will remain in place for the time being but will be regularly reviewed. Bus services – the X2 will start next week. The bus will only go one way through the pedestrian area (downhill) and keep to 5 mph in the pedestrian area. Other bus services that use this area will start the following week.’

Dorset Council, together with town and parish councils, has been working with local businesses and organisations to ensure that people could keep safe while out and about following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on 15 June.

To support residents’ return to their local high streets and help Dorset businesses get back on their feet by encouraging shopping locally, temporary highway measures were in place over the summer in town centres and areas with a high footfall.

Many of these measures will now be coming to an end as visitor numbers start to reduce.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘The coronavirus infection rate in Dorset has so far remained low and the highway measures put in place in our busiest high street areas have played their part in keeping residents and visitors safe.

‘Although these temporary measures will start to be removed, we will be working with our town council partners to ensure that anything still required to facilitate social distancing will remain in place.

‘Overall, these temporary measures to support the reopening of our high streets have been very successful and we’ve had positive feedback from many residents and businesses.

‘We’ll continue to follow government guidelines and adapt to the situation in order to best support our local economy and residents.’

Highway measures introduced along Weymouth harbourside will be removed on the evening of Friday 25 September, when the 12-week emergency traffic order comes to an end.

The closure of Marine Parade in Lyme Regis and additional space on Shore Road in Swanage will be removed in the coming months as visitor numbers reduce.

Road closures in place for Bridport market days will remain for the time being.

Likewise, measures in Cheap Street in Sherborne will remain in place for a while longer, as will additional pedestrian space in Wimborne and Blandford.

Temporary measures are being removed where deemed safe to do so; where the footfall has reduced, and additional social distancing space is no longer required.

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