Part of the High Street is closing for most traffic as part of changes to Watford town centre to help people social distance from each other.

Hertfordshire County Council is implementing plans to alter the town centre from this weekend, such as closing roads, to help people maintain two metre distances as part of its phased reopening.

It has now been confirmed that the council will close access to the High Street from Water Lane (by the blue pyramid) from Saturday, May 23.

This means there will be no access to the lower part of the High Street through to Kings Street for vehicles except for buses, delivery vehicles, taxis and blue badge holders. 

Parking on this section of the High Street is also suspended - blue badge holders should use Kings or Gade car park where they are guaranteed disabled parking spaces.

The restrictions will be in place during usual shopping hours.

Watford Borough Council says the changes will allow visitors, and those who work in the town centre, to move around safely, queue if needed and maintain social distancing.

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “Watford town centre is such an important part of our town and we know people will be looking forward to seeing it come to life again. However, it is critical that we put everyone’s safety first and making sure people have enough shared space is vital. 

“The county council’s road closure means the lower part of the town centre will be safer for pedestrians, shoppers and those who live and work in the area, which is so important at the moment. 

“But this is just the start of what is being put in place to manage the re-opening of our High Street.

“I am working with the county council, Watford BID, intu and other town centre partners to make it a welcoming and safe environment so people can feel confident about visiting but we must remember staying at home is still the best way to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus.”​

Hertfordshire County Council will also be introducing changes to other town centres across the county this bank holiday weekend, including Borehamwood, Hertford, and Bishop's Stortford.

Up to a dozen town centres across Hertfordshire will follow suit from early next week, subject to the initial learning as well as future supplies of barriers and signage.

This is part of the Covid-19 recovery effort by Hertfordshire, and although being led by Public Health, the changes to the town centres are designed to support residents, businesses and families to remain safe as Government allow High Streets to reopen in a phased and gradual manner.