In order to reopen the town centre, safely and securely, Croydon BID has been working closely with Croydon Council, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and other key stakeholders, to deliver an effective strategy for the town, under strict time constraints, as the first wave of businesses prepare to reopen on 15th June.
Representatives from teams at the council, including Community Safety, Economic Development, Highways, Cleansing, Licensing and Communications, as well as transport organisations, have been meeting weekly to discuss the approach to the reopening of the town centre and the plethora of issues and actions needing to be considered to support the safe reopening.
Croydon BID has been representing the business community at these meetings, providing practical knowledge and support with regards to the intelligence mapping of the Croydon town centre, which is informing and supporting the overall approach to the recovery.
With many considerations to make, from adapting the public realm in order to support social distancing, to increased and targeted cleansing and waste removal, from social distancing arrangements and procedures to community safety, from identifying the likely ‘pinch points’ to the procurement of PPE, the weekly operations’ meetings have resulted in a comprehensive work plan with a wide variety of deliverable actions to make this all work under the new norms.
One of the more complex issues will be the arrangements that will be required to support extended queuing measures across the town centre. Queuing arrangements will need to consider a number of factors and, as such, cannot be designed and implemented in isolation and will need a collaborative approach from neighbouring businesses with consideration for others within the public realm, such as passing pedestrians. Croydon BID is working to help coordinate this and has produced a series of stencils, vinyl stickers and signage to help support businesses navigate this.
As the BID starts to ramp up its street services, our own cleaning team will return to the town centre this week as we target specific areas to help prepare for the reopening of many non-essential stores next Monday, 15th June.
Whilst we are fully immersed in overcoming the expansive challenge presented by the pandemic in order to reopen Croydon’s town centre safely and securely, once this initial phase has been successfully implemented, our attentions will turn to the longer term and the creative ways we can confidently employ to encourage more people into the town centre once again and enhance their experience.