Traders say the county council has "overreacted" and that businesses fear for their future after social distancing measures were introduced in Borehamwood.

Last Friday, Hertfordshire County Council put in barriers along Shenley Road, shutting off loading bays, car parking spaces, and service roads.

The council has done this to allow pedestrians more space to walk in to help meet social distancing rules of staying two metres apart from people outside of a household.

Already, some traders have told us the negative impact these measures are having on footfall in the town and the number of customers visiting.

Raj Shah owns Dipa News, situated between Subway and Betfred.

Borehamwood Times:

The newsagents is in the parade of shops where the service road and bay parking has been completely closed off.

Mr Shah says business has been down this week compared to what it has been like in recent weeks.

He said: "We are a traditional newsagents - our customers are elderly. They can't get to us because the car park is too far away.

"It's too far for them to come and get a newspaper or lottery ticket. They'll go elsewhere."

Borehamwood Times:

The closed service road outside Dipa News where cars would usually be parked

Mr Shah continued: "I think what the council has done is an overreaction. Of course we all want to be safe but the pavement outside is wide enough.

"We have the Prime Minister saying we must get back to normal but what the council has done is not going to help.

"We have managed to stay open during the pandemic. But we have lost deliveries, sales are down. We are now losing the passing and early morning trade. Footfall is down maybe around 20 per cent in the last week.

"I was shocked when I saw what the council had done and I phoned them and they told me this could be here until January."

George Fiaca is the owner of Golden Plaice fish and chip shop.

The service road and parking bays outside his shop have also been blocked off with barriers.

Borehamwood Times:

Golden Plaice is situated at the other end of this closed service road

He said: "Right now, we're lucky to get 20 or 30 customers which is massively down. We've had to introduce a delivery service. But people will go for food elsewhere if they know they can't park here.

"I was fuming when I saw what the council had done.

"I understand the need for social distancing but people still naturally walk on the pavements.

"We can't survive like this until January. The high street will be out of business by then. The council needs to get the balance between business and keeping safe."

Borehamwood Times:

There are barriers at the other end of Shenley Road too

Hertfordshire County Council prioritised Borehamwood for social distancing measures alongside three other towns in the county, including Watford, in time for the bank holiday weekend.

Since then, other shopping streets in the county have been changed including in Radlett and St Albans.

There has been backlash from traders in Hatfield Road in St Albans after parking bays were closed - but according to the St Albans Liberal Democrats, the council has agreed to reinstate many parking bays from tomorrow, after an intervention by the St Albans District Council leader, Chris White.

The county council said last week it would keep shopping street changes "under review" and may make changes if "appropriate".

The council added is it looking to retain disabled parking and loading bays where this can be done and still provide sufficient space for pedestrians to social distance.