Businesses are looking forward to welcoming shoppers back to Shrewsbury, with plenty of space for people to shop safely and free car parking available throughout December and into the new year. 

From December 2, through traffic will not be allowed to travel along High Street or up Wyle Cop between 11am and 4pm to allow more space for social distancing and outdoor seating. 

However, buses will be stopping on High Street before 11am and after 4pm, in a change to arrangements over the summer, when town centre buses were redirected along Town Walls. 

Members of Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce, made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District), say safety continues to be the main priority when welcoming people back into the town centre. 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “We have been working hard with partners to make the town centre safe and welcoming for people, and creating a more spacious pedestrian environment on our busiest streets has been central to that. 

“As we get closer to Christmas, I know a lot of shops are extending their opening hours so people can visit when it’s convenient for them, rather than having to come at busy periods. 

The free parking from 11am every day is a great offer which we hope will encourage more people to support local this Christmas. 

Meanwhile, anyone who cannot visit the town centre is being encouraged to support their favourite trader by purchasing gift cards at www.shrewsburysopen.com 

The website also contains a wealth of information about what Shrewsbury has to offer this Christmas, including a map showing car parks and disabled car parking spaces. 

Seb added: “Businesses are really getting behind the gift card scheme – a simple and effective way for people to shop online and buy a voucher for a Shrewsbury business as special Christmas gift.  

“We would love people to avoid Amazon and instead visit shrewsburysopen.com to support their local high street at such an important time of year. 

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We hope that the social distancing measures, along with free parking in Shropshire Council car parks from 3 December, will encourage people to visit Shrewsbury in the coming weeks and support our local traders.”