An open letter to the Editor of the Keswick Reminder, Keswick Town councillors and various other businesses.
Station Street and St John Street temporary pedestrian zone for bars and restaurants?
Pubs and restaurants are desperate for the essential trading space so why can’t we allow them to maximise our public outdoor spaces. We need to pull out all the stops and it’s now time for some creative thinking!
As this summer progresses and the lockdown is eased the lack of space to operate and trade in the hospitality sector is becoming more apparent. With social distancing restrictions hospitality businesses in Keswick and indeed everywhere else in this country will struggle to gain the customers they need to survive. A lot of businesses in Keswick simply just don’t have the room indoors to provide a service that can financially break even and help guarantee the precious jobs and protect the economy of this lovely town.
Surely our town council can help with the relaxation of restrictions on businesses trading in and around the town square by allowing them to take better advantage of our large market place pavements and streets.
An idea – I could go further and suggest a pedestrian zone and the closure of Station Street to traffic after 5 pm on weekends, with the closure stretching from Southey Street to the cinema on St John Street. This will allow the numerous hospitality businesses struggling with lack of space to occupy the street directly outside their properties. The atmosphere would be amazing but I do concede the weather might not play it’s part as we do live in the Lake District, and of course space for emergency services to gain vehicular access would be a must, but a happy access comprise I’m sure could be achieved.
Space means profit – a lot of businesses have streamlined customer service areas and now have numerous spare tables and chairs in storage which could be easily utilised in the new outside areas. I’m not suggesting a messy free for all as I’m sure businesses will be sensible and proprietors will also appreciate the bigger overall benefit this will bring to Keswick.
Also, maybe we could use the spare market traders gazebos as an insurance against the weather.
You never know the 5 o’clock road closure might become a permanent feature during the summer months of the future. Where there’s a will there’s a way! Just a thought.