Traffic measures will be introduced in some Cumbrian town centres this week to help people to obey social distancing guidelines.

The measures are designed to allow enough room for people to maintain social distancing and are being implemented by Cumbria County Council ahead of the first weekend since restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus were relaxed to allow non-essential shops to reopen.

From Saturday, the main route through Penrith town centre will be closed with restricted access via Sandgate and Burrowgate for deliveries, residents and disabled badge holders.

Southbound traffic will be stopped at the junction of Middlegate and Brunswick Road and, for northbound traffic, on King Street outside Lloyds Bank.

King Street will only be open for access from the junction with Old London Road.

On-street parking on Middlegate, Devonshire Street and King Street will be restricted to disabled bays and loading bays.

The diversion route for southbound traffic will be via Brunswick Road, Cromwell Road, Ullswater Road, the A66 and Bridge Lane and in the reverse direction for northbound traffic.

Councillor Helen Fearon, who represents Penrith West, said: “A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to get our town centres open and to enable our businesses and residents to return to work and move around the town safely.

"I’d like to say thank you to all of the colleagues involved from different organisations, including Penrith town council, Eden Council, the county council, Penrith BID, Chamber of Trade and Cumbria Police.”

From tomorrow, Whitehaven will see vehicle access maintained on all routes but there will be restricted parking for all vehicles on the south side of the carriageway on Lowther Street and a section on the north side outside HSBC and Natwest.

Dedicated loading areas will still be available on Lowther Street.

The bus stop on Lowther Street will also be suspended on a temporary basis with users of this service advised in the short term to use the bus stop located on Strand Street.

King Street and Market Place in Whitehaven will also see enhanced signage advising pedestrians to maintain a safe distance, including direction of travel.

Councillor Keith Little, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “These temporary measures are important to maintain social distancing guidance and while they may cause some initial disruption as we all get used to the new restrictions, I’d ask for everyone’s cooperation and understanding as we adapt to new ways of living and working during this difficult time."

Copeland Council and Whitehaven town council helped to implement the measures, which Mr Little said would be monitored and reviewed regularly.