To help local businesses in Aylesbury town centre, parts of Cambridge Street and George Street were recently pedestrianised, allowing locals cafes, pubs and shops to have additional outdoor space. The temporary pedestrianisation has proved incredibly popular with members of the public – with many people commenting on how pleasant and inviting the new spaces are.

Cambridge Street now has The Harrow pub trading outside, with other businesses planning to follow shortly. These include The Holy Cow, that are investigating if they can extend their business to offer specialist teas with seating outside their shop.

Several businesses along the street have had issues with people waiting (e.g. barbers and a tattoo parlour), but they can now put chairs outside to enable their customers to safely wait. Visitor feedback has been very positive, with businesses reporting an uplift in trade due to visitors now being able to browse through the street rather than rushing past and navigating narrow pavements. In George Street, The Queens Head has now had its license confirmed for outside trade, and both The Queens Head and Coffee Tree have invested in hanging baskets to help make the pedestrianised space look even more attractive.

Following the success of the Cambridge Street and George Street schemes, businesses in Market Street have now approached Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership to see if this street could be temporarily closed to traffic as the pavements are very narrow – making it difficult for people to socially distance. Steve Bowles, Chairman of Aylesbury Garden Town Strategic Oversight Board and Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, said:

“I’m delighted with the success of this pedestrianisation initiative, which has definitely enhanced the vibrancy of the town and provided opportunities for businesses to safely operate. I’ve also had tremendous feedback from businesses and visitors saying how beautiful the spaces now look with the new planters and hanging baskets.”

Diana Fawcett from the Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership commented:

“These temporary road closures have encouraged businesses to invest in their shops, provided a safe environment for our visitors, and have transformed two back streets. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen.”