SHAFTESBURY High Street has reverted to two-way traffic this week with the ending of Covid restrictions.

It ends the temporary pedestrianisation of the street, apart from Thursday market days up until 3pm.

The town council say it remains committed to get part-pedestrianisation re-introduced hailing the pandemic changes a great success.

It says there has been a tripling of market stalls during the closure to traffic and that 83 per cent of businesses favour making the scheme permanent.

It is now waiting for Dorset Council to look at a new permanent traffic order for the street, which could take a year to 18 months to completion.

Dorset Echo: Shaftesbury High Street. Picture: Trevor BevinsShaftesbury High Street. Picture: Trevor Bevins

Said a town council spokesman: “Many of the town shoppers and market traders have told us that the temporary pedestrianisation has improved the market shopping experience leading to a tripling in the number of market stalls.

"Due to the growth of Shaftesbury Town Council's Thursday Street Market, Dorset Council has granted a licence to temporarily close the High Street on Thursdays up until 3pm to enable the street market to continue to flourish.

"On Market days the High Street will remain as Pedestrian Priority from 9am until 3pm therefore only emergency services, buses and deliveries will be allowed to enter the High Street during this time.”

Shaftesbury Town Council has said it will continue to seek the views from businesses, shoppers and residents and will keep the community informed as the next steps for a more permanent scheme are developed.

Cllr Piers Brown, the lead member for economic development said: “Temporary pedestrianisation of the High Street has been a great success, helping our amazing shops through the extremely difficult trading year.

"With +86 per cent of shoppers and +83 per cent of businesses supporting the temporary pedestrianisation becoming permanent.

"I hope Dorset Council will accept our application so the High Street can continue to buck the national trend and flourish”

“Although this marks the end of the temporary pedestrianisation, Shaftesbury Town Council, will continue to support all business in town including those in retail as they take on the challenge of coming out of Covid.

"People's jobs and livelihoods depend on it"